I Will Be With Thy Mouth - RR171F12

From Pocket College
Jump to: navigation, search

The media player is loading...


Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: I Will Be With Thy Mouth
Course: Course - Exodus; Unity of Law and Grace
Subject: Subject:Pentateuch
Lesson#: 12
Length: 0:33:00
TapeCode: RR171F12
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Exodus Unity of Law and Grace.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

Let us worship God. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. He will also hear their cry and save them. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, saith the Lord Jesus, there am I in the midst of them. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we rejoice in thy protecting care, thy mercies, and the certainty of grace, thy mercy and government. Oh Lord, our God, strengthen us by thy word and by thy spirit that, as we face the powers of this world, the powers of evil, we may be more than conquerors. We thank thee, our Father, that men and women are arising to challenge the powers of evil. Bless them and protect them as they make their witness and as they make their stand in the courts. Bless us, this day, by thy word and by thy spirit, and grant that we may grow in thy service. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Our scripture is Exodus 4:10-17, our subject: I will be with thy mouth. Exodus 4:10-17. “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.” [00:03:28]

The unwillingness of Moses to respond to God’s call...[edit]

The unwillingness of Moses to respond to God’s call is, of course, in sharp contrast to Moses’ early zeal. He was impetuous in his eagerness many years before, to break with the court and then to defend with his people. The difference now is Moses is a broken man. The years have taken a very ugly toll on his self-confidence, and it is for this reason that God uses him. Moses had had nothing but defeat up to his point. He had become a broken man, and the last thing he wants now is to be given a task to do, to confront the power of Egypt and to confront his own people. In the course of time, men and nations have been and continue to be routinely broken. Broken by defeat. And the consequences are devastating to them. One result is that they very often become past-bound, they live in the past. Their minds are wrapped up in past battles and defeats, and they cannot face the present with unfettered strength. Defeated men and defeated nations are always dwelling on the past; on a war which they lost, on an incident where they had a personal defeat. I recall years ago my father telling me that before the first World War, about 1910 to 1912 when he was in France, what was in the minds of people there was the Franco-Prussian war, the defeat they had had, and they would often echo things of that defeat. Men and nations, when they are broken, cannot face the present. Only a religious change can turn a defeated person or people into a present power.

Now, for God’s purposes, such a broken man or such a broken nation provide Him with His chosen instruments for victory. Our salvation always begins with an accepted judgment. Only then are we freed from the past, and this is why people who live in the past cannot accept the fact that, however good their cause may have been in their eyes, there was a reason why that judgment came upon them. Now to accept that judgment, to accept that defeat requires a religious renewal. Only then are we freed from the past. Men who seek to excuse or explain their past could never escape it. [00:07:29]

Moses’ first objection we saw previously in Exodus...[edit]

Moses’ first objection we saw previously in Exodus 4:1. “They will not believe me or hear me,” he said. Without removing, or reviewing the other objections made by Moses that we went into last week, this particular one: “They will not believe me or hear me,” is important in terms of our text this morning. For a man to believe he has something to say to a perverse generation takes courage and faith. Why should people listen to a lone and contrary voice? Why should people pay any attention to us, if what we say is the antithesis of everything they believe and everything they are doing? It is like trying to stop a runaway locomotive with words. Isaiah 53.1 gives us Isaiah’s only objection, which echoes this: “Who hath believed our report? Lord, we’ve spoken the word. Who hath believed our report, or doctrine?” To speak to a people determined to go against God’s law is to speak, it seems, hopelessly. Paul quotes Isaiah’s words, “Who hath believed our report?” in Romans 10:16-17, and then adds, under the inspiration of God, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

As we saw last week, God answered this and other objections by Moses, who now makes a second kind of objection, a personal one. He no longer can question God’s power and ability to destroy Egypt, God has given him signs that point to that. But now he questions his own fitness to be God’s instrument. Moses says that he is neither eloquent nor a quick thinker. Words come slowly to him, he declares, and a more eloquent spokesman can serve God better. Well, more than one man, when he has been defeated, has turned from a spell-binding orator into a man who finds it very, very difficult to speak. But God’s answer is a devastating one, because God tells Moses, “Who hath made man’s mouth, or who maketh the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? All things come from me,” says God, “and therefore, I, who made thee, can make thee eloquent if I choose.” So God declares first, the He is our creator, and what He commissions us to do, He will empower us to fulfill, and so Moses must not be governed by his inadequacies, nor must we, but by God’s command. [00:11:24]

And then second He says, ...[edit]

And then second He says, “Now therefore, go and I will be with thee, be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say.” This is a very important promise. It’s a repeated one in the Bible. It’s one that comes to all of us. Our Lord tells us, and He told his disciples when He first sent them out, “Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Now, that’s not a very promising commission, Send out a sheep in the midst of wolves. “Be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” This is an echo of God’s words to Moses.

Our Lord says, first of all, is our task is a difficult one, and a very dangerous one. When we challenge the evil premises of our time, we are humanly speaking, helpless. We are like sheep surrounded by wolves. And this is the way it is. All the many times I’ve been in court, it has appalled me that the savagery with which prosecutors go after ministers defending their churches, or Christian school teachers and administrators defending their schools, or parents who are homeschooling, and so on, with an intense savagery. Witnesses are not protected by the same constitutional, or supreme court guarantees that criminals are protected by, which is an ironic fact. You can question a police officer or a witness, and treat them with a savagery you dare not use on a criminal because you will violate his rights. And yet, in the face of that, I have seen parents who are normally almost tongue-tied when they face a group, or a shy and timid Christian school teacher get on the stand, and you know that God is giving them the words to speak, because they speak with a wisdom and a clarity they didn’t know they had as they were trembling before they went on the stand. [00:14:51]

But then second, as we look at our Lord’s words, we...[edit]

But then second, as we look at our Lord’s words, we must see that foolhardiness In God’s name is not permitted. Beware of men, He says, to his disciples and to us, because God’s enemies can drag us into court on whatever charges they choose. Consider the charge I reported before I began our service. A woman, leaning over a fence to hand some leaflets, pro-life leaflets to girls about to go in and get an abortion, and she was accused of violating the air space of this abortion mill, because her hand went over the fence.

Then third, when we face our enemies, we must do so in God’s Holy Spirit. He will empower us, to speak what we should speak, for He will be in us and with us to empower us. God accepts no excuses, from Moses or from us, because when He gives us a task to do, he doesn’t leave us alone, He gives us His power to do it.

And he tells Moses if he does not wish to speak, his brother, Aaron, now coming to see him, can do so for him and very ably. And this arrangement would add to Moses’ status. As Dr. A.S. Yahuda, a very brilliant Egyptologist wrote about forty or fifty years ago, and I quote, “Exodus 4:16 reads literally, He, Aaron, shall be to thee a mouth and thou shalt be to him a god, or Elohim. Here ‘mouth’ is used metaphorically for representative being a literal rendering of the Egyptian ‘ra’ mouth, a very common title of a high office at the court of Pharaoh. The office of a mouth was so important indeed, that it was held by the highest state dignitaries. Thus, especially in the New Kingdom, the titles mouth ‘ra’ and chief mouth, ‘ra hari,’ frequently occur in reference to persons of high rank, as chief superintendents and overseers of public works who acted as intermediaries between the king and government officials. In some cases, they care called ‘mouth’ or ‘chief mouth’ of the king. For example, ‘Ahmose,’ the commander and chief of Thutmose III, says of himself, “I was the mouth of the king who brought tranquility to the whole land, and who filled the heart of the king with love and satisfaction every day, and the king made me chief mouth of his house.’” As Yahuda pointed out in his studies, Pharaoh was, to the Egyptians, the great god. And as such, he spoke to the people through various officials who were his mouth. [00:18:41]

Now, the Lord uses Moses and Moses’ reluctance to establish...[edit]

Now, the Lord uses Moses and Moses’ reluctance to establish a very ironic parallel, one which mocks and also challenges Pharaoh. The Lord uses Moses’ reluctance to tell Pharaoh there is another and a true God, and here is His mouth. His representative. Like Pharaoh, he has a mouth, Aaron, to speak for him. This was so bold a challenge, and one accompanies with supernatural judgments that it restrained Pharaoh’s vengeance against Moses and Aaron.

Aaron was Moses’ elder brother and normally, in Antiquity this would have given him a superior status, but God reverses this fact and Aaron accepts it. Moses had not wanted to go, but God compels him to do so, and Moses is also ordered to take his shepherd’s staff, or rod, because in Antiquity, royal scepters were shepherd’s staffs. The idea of a royal scepter comes from a shepherd’s staff. They set forth the king as the shepherd of his people. Moses, under God, is to be the shepherd of Israel. To carry such a staff into Pharaoh’s presence was thus in itself, a tremendous challenge to that ruler’s authority. Because for him to go into the presence of Pharaoh with a man who is his mouth, and Moses carrying a shepherd’s staff was to say, in effect, “There is another God than you, Pharaoh. The true God, and Moses is here to represent Him.”

Aaron is identified by God as he speaks to Moses as the Levite, meaning here the priest. Now, of course Moses knew that his brother was a Levite because he himself was one, but he says, “He is the Levite for you, he is under your jurisdiction. Aaron is a part of the chain of communication from God.” In Exodus 7:1, God tells Moses that “Aaron, thy brother, shall be thy prophet.” He shall speak for Moses who speaks for God.

One result of this was to isolate Moses during a time of great hostility and pressure, because Aaron stood between Moses and Pharaoh, and Moses and Israel. And Moses, this broken man, was given this intermediary, this protection. Of course, in due time, as Moses regained confidence through the grace of God, he became more and more bold and open, and spoke powerfully and directly. Moses was out of touch, with both Israel and Egypt, and it could very well be that his command of both languages, Hebrew and Egyptian, would have become rusty in forty years. Hence, he was probably right in saying he would be slow of speech, both Hebrew and Egyptian, would come slowly to him. But Aaron, living in Egypt among his own people, would be fluent in both Hebrew and Egyptian, and was thus, a very good spokesman. [00:23:28]

Now at this point, it is important for us to remember...[edit]

Now at this point, it is important for us to remember that we are in the know on what is happening in a way that Moses was not. We have the Bible. We can and have read ahead. We know what happened to Egypt, but Moses did not. He did not know of the ten plagues on Egypt and Egypt’s deliverance. God only revealed to Moses His mission, and He gave evidence of His power to Moses. But apart from that, almost no specific statements were made. All that Moses knew was that God was going to deliver Egypt through him. He also knew, because God told him so, that this was going to be an enormously difficult task. His most specific assurance had to do with speech. Moses knew by this time that God’s ways can be very, very difficult, and it is well to remember our Lord’s words to His disciples, which both tell us that some would be killed, and yet not a hair of their head should perish. We read in Luke 21:14-19, “Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.”

Now, our Lord here was talking about the conditions just before the fall of Jerusalem, and the war of 61-70 AD. It was the most fearful war in all of history. Our Lord tells us, “There never will be such a like disaster till the end of time.” Very few books give us a full account of it. We know that the people were slaughtered by the millions in that war, that the survivors of the fearful siege of Jerusalem were taken and all the men crucified and the women sold as slaves. In fact, they stripped the mountains round about Jerusalem which, in those days, were wooded, of all sizable trees in order to crucify them, and leave them dying, day after day, as long as they could prolong it, because they were so angry. [00:27:15]

The significant fact is that all who hated our Lord...[edit]

The significant fact is that all who hated our Lord’s warnings escaped. Not a Christian perished. They saw the signs of what was to take place and they fled. But these words also, that our Lord spoke to His disciples about a particular time in history are again and again repeated, and generalized, and applicable to us. Our Lord promises us full protection and yet says some will be put to death. Because God’s perspective on our lives includes all of eternity, and in this sense, there is no loss for us. “Not a hair of your head shall perish.” All the same, when we are in His service, we do have supernatural protection as well as wisdom and power when we speak. We are required to speak faithfully to our generation. He declared then, “I will be with thy mouth.” Let us pray.

Our Lord, and our God, we thank thee that we are never alone when we walk with thee. That thou would give us strength, and words, and power, not of ourselves. We thank thee that no matter how broken we are by our past, thou art able to renew us and make us a new creation in Christ, and so we come to thee, our Father, to commit ourselves unto thee, that thou mightest use us and empower us for thy service. In Christ’s name, Amen. Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes?

[Audience] It seems to be growing understand or view within the church today that ministers of the word need to be subject to some authority or covering, accountability. That seems to be the case with Aaron here. Moses seems, is accountable only to God. Moses is in a unique position here with {?} body of God?

[Rushdoony] In a sense, all of us have a like position in that we are accountable to God. But we are also told that we are members one to another, so we have an accountability to men. Now, Moses’ position here indeed was unique. He was given a special place. He was a type of Christ, and Christ is spoken of as a greater Moses. And Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, very obviously is saying, “I am that greater Moses,” because Moses came down from the Mount to give God’s law to the people, and our Lord on the mountainside says, “I say unto you, as a greater Moses,” that’s what He was implying. So, in a sense, the two of them did have a unique authority. Very definitely. Any other questions or comments? Well, if not, let us bow our heard in prayer. [00:31:31]

Lord, it is good for us to be here...[edit]

Lord, it is good for us to be here. Thou knowest how often we feel alone, how often we feel powerless in the face of the powers of darkness, in the face of circumstances great or small. We thank thee, Lord, that we have thy word, that thou wilt never leave us nor forsake us, so that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, I shall not fear what men may do unto me.” How great and marvelous are thy promises, oh Lord, and how certain, and we praise thee.

And now, go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always. Amen. [00:32:51]

End of Tape.