There are two ways to live. We are either in the way of the righteous or in the way of the wicked. Psalm 2 urges us to take refuge in Christ negatively, from the perspective of the wicked who defy God. There are four reasons here to take refuge in Christ.
In Psalm 1, the Holy Spirit presents the substance of life very simply. There are two ways to live. The same choice is before us in Psalm 2. In Psalm 2, the two ways are presented with emphasis on the wicked and their foolish rejection of God. We either rage against Christ or take refuge in Christ. We either oppose God with the nations and perish, or trust in God and enjoy divine blessing. This Psalm presents several reasons to take refuge in Christ.
The verses before us this morning give something of a positive plan for Israel to retain covenant fidelity to Yahweh. Yes, the program echoes the covenant laws of Exodus 23, but they show that Israel’s covenant with Yahweh has two key facets. Israel must reject false gods, but they must also be devoted in heart and hand to Yahweh, the true God.
Our text this morning is the story of Israel’s first conflict after defeating Egypt. This morning, I think it’s better to approach our text from the ground up. I want us to understand what’s going on, and then draw lessons for us from what the passage reveals.
The rest of Exodus 16 deals with the institution of a pre-Sinai Sabbath and the people’s response to this. I believe that the same theme of first half of the chapter can be easily brought over and extended into the focus on the manna and Sabbath. That is, we still learn here that true saints believe that God alone can satisfy their greatest desires.
Back in ch 6:7, we saw that the Exodus from Egypt is a plan for God to glorify himself to his people. The Lord has had his glory as his purpose for the Exodus from the outset. So, now that we have arrived at the Exodus in vv 28-42 of chapter 12, the Lord wants us to see that he is God who really does save his people. God brings Israel out of Egypt so that we would marvel in adoration at his works.
As we consider ch 5 in light of the whole book of Exodus, we are taught not to be deceived by our circumstances, but to look up and hope in God. As we look around us at the world, it seems to be spinning out of control. The darkness around us gets blacker and blacker. We too, like the Israelites, may be tempted to lose hope in our trials. But we must not. Amidst a very dark age, we must keep the flickering candle of our hope in Christ aflame. In light of this, I want you to get this central message from this sermon: believers hope in God, no matter how black the world’s darkness becomes.
The LORD has sovereign power and authority over all things. Yahweh is in control over everything that happens in the book of Exodus. That is because the Lord is over everything that happens, period. This passage is not only about what is about to happen, it is also about a Sovereign God who foretells what will certainly happen because he decreed those events. In light of this truth, the point of this morning’s message is we should trust our sovereign God who does whatever he decrees. Why should we trust God?
In a way similar to his call of Moses, God calls us to do extraordinary, things for his sake. He calls us to tasks we are unequal to. I include with this our response to God’s calling on us as Christians, in our vocations and responsibilities, and as evangelists and ministers of Christ to others. As we hear God’s response to Moses, I want us to respond the way God wants Moses to respond: with trust. We must trust the God who calls us.
God calls each one of us to be something extraordinary; he calls each one of us to our life’s work. And in each of these spiritual and vocation callings, we, like Moses, need to trust the God who calls us. Whether we’re Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, or we’re a man who believes God might have called him to be a pastor, or we’re a housewife struggling to homeschool, or we’re a believer struggling to be holy, we, like Moses, need to trust the God who calls us. God’s answers to Moses in this passage give us three reasons to trust God ourselves.