Exodus 3:12
And he said, Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token to you, that I have sent you: When you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.
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(12) Certainly I will be with thee.—Heb., since I will be with thee. An answer addressed not to the thing said, but to the thing meant. Moses meant to urge that he was unfit for the mission. God’s reply is, “Not unfit, since I will be with thee.” I will supply all thy defects, make good all thy shortcomings. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

This shall be a token unto thee.—It is in accordance with the Divine economy to give men "tokens,” which are future, and appeal to faith only, (Comp. 1Samuel 2:34; 2Kings 19:27.)

Exodus 3:12. Certainly I will be with thee — Those that are weak in themselves, yet may do wonders, being strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. God’s presence puts wisdom and strength into the weak and foolish, and is enough to answer all objections.3:11-15 Formerly Moses thought himself able to deliver Israel, and set himself to the work too hastily. Now, when the fittest person on earth for it, he knows his own weakness. This was the effect of more knowledge of God and of himself. Formerly, self-confidence mingled with strong faith and great zeal, now sinful distrust of God crept in under the garb of humility; so defective are the strongest graces and the best duties of the most eminent saints. But all objections are answered in, Certainly I will be with thee. That is enough. Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what he is in himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies, 1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself. 2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God. 4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.A token unto thee - Or the sign. The word means a declaration or promise of God, which rests absolutely on His word, and demands faith. The promise that God would have the people serve Him in that place was an assurance, if fully believed, that all intervening obstacles would be removed by His power. 10-22. Come now therefore, and I will send thee—Considering the patriotic views that had formerly animated the breast of Moses, we might have anticipated that no mission could have been more welcome to his heart than to be employed in the national emancipation of Israel. But he evinced great reluctance to it and stated a variety of objections [Ex 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10] all of which were successfully met and removed—and the happy issue of his labors was minutely described. This shall be a token unto thee; either,

1. This vision; or,

2. The fulfilling of this promise, that

I will be with thee by signs and wonders, and a strong hand; or rather,

3. This which here follows, that he and Israel should serve God there. Signs indeed are commonly given from things past or present, but sometimes from things to come, as here, and 1 Samuel 2:34 Isaiah 7:13,14 9:6, &c.

Quest. How could Moses be confirmed in his present calling and work by a thing yet to come?

Answer. Such signs, if they were single, and the only evidences of a man’s calling, might leave some ground for suspicion; but when they are accompanied with other signs, as it is here and in the other places produced, they are of great use for the corroboration of a man’s faith. Moses was otherwise assured of the presence, and power, and faithfulness of that God who spake to him, and was to expect more assurances that God would be with him to help him in and carry him through his work. And as an evidence that this work of bringing Israel out of Egypt should be completed, he gives him a promise that he should serve God in that place; which promise coming from God, he knew to be as infallibly certain, as if it were already come to pass, and therefore this was an apt mean to strengthen his faith in his present undertaking. And he said, certainly I will be with thee,.... To encourage and strengthen him; to protect, defend, and preserve him, and to succeed and prosper him; to give him credit and respect with the people of Israel, and influence over Pharaoh to prevail upon him at length to let Israel go:

and this shall be a token unto thee that I have sent thee; not the promise now made, nor the vision he had seen, but what follows:

when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain: Mount Horeb or Sinai, as they did at the time of the giving of the law on it, when an altar was built upon a hill, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, Exodus 24:4 and this was a sign, "a posteriori", confirming the divine mission of Moses; and besides the promise of this, on which Moses might depend, being made by the Lord, assured him of success, that he should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, since he and they would serve the Lord together at this mountain, and from whence he might conclude he had a mission and commission from God. Of a like kind is the sign or token given of the deliverance of Jerusalem from the army of Sennacherib, Isaiah 37:30.

And he said, {m} Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

(m) Neither fear your own weakness, or Pharaoh's tyranny.

12. In reply God assures him that He will be with him and support him: cf. Genesis 28:15; Genesis 31:3; Joshua 1:5; Joshua 3:7; and especially Jdg 6:16. ‘Certainly,’ like ‘Surely’ in Jud. l.c., is better omitted: the Heb. ki is like the Greek ὅτι recitativum (Lex. 471b b).

token] The word usually rendered ‘sign,’ as Exodus 4:8; Exodus 4:17, Isaiah 7:11, &c. The word means here evidence or proof, as Jdg 6:17, 1 Samuel 14:10, 2 Kings 20:9 : and with reference to something not to be realised immediately, 1 Samuel 2:34, Isaiah 7:11; Isaiah 37:30. The promise, given with all assurance, that the liberated people would worship God on the very mountain on which he was standing, though its full cogency could not be perceived till it was fulfilled, was a guarantee to Moses that God had really sent him.

that I have sent thee] The pron. is emphatic.

upon this mountain] The mountain which is God’s abode: cf. v. 1, Exodus 19:3 a, 4b.Verse 12. - Certainly I will be with thee. Literally, "Since I will be with thee." Moses had excused himself on the ground of unfitness. God replies - "Thou wilt not be unfit, since I will be with thee - I will supply thy deficiencies - I will impart all the qualities thou needest - and this shall be a sign unto thee of my power and faithfulness - this shall assure thee that I am not sending thee upon a fruitless errand - it is determined in my counsels that not only shalt thou succeed, and lead the people out, but after that, - when thou hast so done - thou and they together shall serve me on this mountain." The "sign" was one which appealed to faith only, like that given to Hezekiah by Isaiah (2 Kings 19:29), but, if accepted, it gave a full assurance - the second step involved the first - the end implied the means - if Moses was of a certainty to bring the Israelites to Sinai, he must first lead them out of Egypt - he must in some way or other triumph over all the difficulties which would beset the undertaking. Jehovah then made Himself known to Moses as the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, reminding him through that name of the promises made to the patriarchs, which He was about to fulfil to their seed, the children of Israel. In the expression, "thy father," the three patriarchs are classed together as one, just as in Exodus 18:4 ("my father"), "because each of them stood out singly in distinction from the nation, as having received the promise of seed directly from God" (Baumgarten). "And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God." The sight of the holy God no sinful man can bear (cf. 1 Kings 19:12).
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