10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? 13 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
14 These be the heads of their fathers’ houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon. 16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. 19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. 21 And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri. 23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites. 25 And Eleazar Aaron’s son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families. 26 These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. 27 These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron.
28 And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. 30 And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me? 1 And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. 6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they. 7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh. (Exodus 6:10–7:7)
So far in the book of Exodus, we’ve seen how Israel slipped into bondage in Egypt. First, they were welcome guests, then after Joseph died, they became slaves.
The Lord did not forget Israel, however, but raised up a deliverer, Moses. Moses, however, had quite a rocky start being a deliverer. First, he murdered an Egyptian who was beating on his countrymen. Instead of the Israelites being thankful, however, they hated what he had done, and Moses ended up spending forty years herding sheep in Midian.
But God called to him from the Burning Bush and, despite Moses’ many objections, he promised to be with Moses and help him deliver Israel. So Moses marched to Egypt and, with his brother Aaron, garnered the support of the Israelites.
Then they confronted Pharaoh head on. It’s not hard to imagine what Moses was expecting from the aftermath: Pharaoh would hear the words of the Lord from Moses and Aaron and fall to his knees in repentance. He’d immediately order the release of the Israelites and beg Moses to ask God not to kill him.
But instead, Moses got this: “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go” (Exodus 6:2). Then, to make matters worse, Pharaoh ordered that the labor of the Israelites be made more difficult.
Then the Israelites, who were so supportive earlier, turned on him:
21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. (Exodus 5:21)
So Moses turned to the Lord and asked, “Why me, Lord?” The Lord, in Exodus 6, explained all over again how he had heard the groaning of the children of Israel. He reaffirmed his promises to Israel with seven “I will’s” in Exodus 6:6-8.
But when Moses told the people, they did not listen. What was he to do? Give up because the congregation voted “no”? No, the Lord comes and speaks to Moses, recommissioning him for the task at hand: