Now you see it: Exodus 6
Exodus 5 left us in a spot where things had not turned out as well as Moses and the people expected (see here). If you've been on the journey through this walk through the whole Bible, though, you've seen that life does not always turn out as smoothly as those of us living it hope it would. Exodus 6 (link) gives us a little light for those dark times.
1.) We see that light in the reflection of history. Starting with Exodus 6:14 and carrying through the rest of the chapter are the details of some of the families in Egypt. Looking back at 6:3, we see God remind Moses of His appearing to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
One of our sources of light in dark times is the light that reflects from history. It is true that there are some pretty dark spots back there, some grungy places on that mirror. Yet we can see the ways which God worked then, the actions taken. We can see Ruth in the midst of the chaos of pre-monarchal Israel. We can see Irish monks copying books through the Dark Ages. We can see that while people move slowly, god still works through them.
History is the mirror that reflects light from God at work, though we also see those spots and blemishes from sin's effects.
2.) We see that light in the present work of God. For Moses and the Israelites at the time, it was in God's statements here that now you will see what I will do. It is the promise that God's hand will not be light or invisible.
God's work continues into this day. It is work of judgment and of grace, of wrath and of love, of rebuke and of reception. Those who continue to hold out against God will see one aspect, while those who worship and obey will see see the other. And we can trust that He will do all that we cannot.
3.) We see that light in the Word of God. Whether it is the promise of action and the commitment that He has heard the Israelites here, or in the Word of God that sits on my desk, nicely bound and printed. We have His Words, His promises and we ought to let that light shine into our lives.
God is not absent, and He is not silent. Just because we are not hearing what we want to hear or are not hearing anything 'different' does not mean there is no Word. There is a Word, the same one we've had for years.
Through all of this, we must not forget this: that God is not working on our schedule and in our methods is not evidence that He's not working. It's evidence that we are not seeing Him.
And when we cannot see Him, we must still trust Him. Not block Him out because of our despondency as the Israelites, but listen all the clearer. Block out the distractions, focus on the end-goal: eternity in the presence and love of God. And listen to what He has already said. Because it's good.
Today's Nerd Note: Genealogy and the Old Testament "begat lists." I use the term "begat lists" because that's what they are in the KJV: and this one begat that one, and so on. Important to our understanding of these lists is this: the word that becomes "begat" in English, and the associated words about "becoming the father of" or "the son of," point to a connected ancestry. While the default assumption should be literal father-to-son lineage, it is not impossible nor injurious to the text to see these as family lineages across multiple generations.
So, don't get too worked up if the years and such don't add up. This is an area that the Bible is accurate and says exactly what God intended it to say, but we may not quite understand it. Especially in American culture where we really tend to de-emphasize "family lines" beyond grandparents.