Our readings today in Exodus and Romans tie in together in their reference to the exaltation of Moses, now ready to serve God after 40 years of preparation “in the land of Midian”. Moses is now a meek and humble man (Numbers 12:3) and God can use him.
In Romans 9 Paul first states how God “says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy … So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy’” (verses 15,16). In Exodus yesterday we saw how God could not use Moses’ own “will and exertion” (2:11-15). Paul then drives home the lesson that one cannot deserve, i.e., ‘earn’ God’s blessing by their own efforts. All God’s blessings are an expression of God’s mercy.
Paul’s next point is that “Scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth’” (verse 17). This is not the proclamation of God’s name as an intellectual understanding, but of God’s character, that was about to be established by His actions. In the coming days we will read of the dramatic deliverance of the descendants of Jacob from Egypt.
Look carefully at Exodus 3 where God’s name is given as “I will be what I will be” (verse 14, ESV footnote). Primarily, this means God will make His name, or reputation, by what happens. “This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations” (verse 15). Their deliverance from Egypt became a memorial which all generations would look back to as a foundation for their confidence in God. Thus, when we read Psalm 135 and its praises we will see the full significance in verses 8-13 of the LORD’s name and “renown”. It is fully expressed in Isaiah 63:11-14 how God “led your people to make for yourself a glorious name”. Daniel makes the same point in his impassioned prayer (9:15).
In the same way we look to the sacrifice and resurrection of our Saviour, and how God made for Himself the name of ‘Father.’ We are privileged to call God ‘Father’ and must hallow that name.
Just as vital, how many are striving to make a ‘name’ for themselves which Christ will remember when the time comes for him to confess what those in his service have achieved? Think about what Jesus says in Revelation 3:5, “The one who conquers (him / herself!) … I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels”. Our name that Christ will confess will be achieved in many different ways; for example, “to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).