TODAY’S READING: Exodus 4–6
Signs, miracles, and wonders are always linked to messages that need to be believed—they are not about power, but proclamation. God gave Moses signs that he might be believed and that the people might believe in the God of missions, for that was what the repeated reference to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob implied (Exo. 4:5). God’s covenant to Abraham and his seed was centered on all nations, all people groups being blessed. Despite Moses’ insecurities he was told to go and to speak (v. 12)—commands that YHWH still issues today. And many of Moses’ mentees still respond: Oh my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else (4:13)! This angered Jehovah then, and it angers Him now.
What God did for Israel in Egypt, He intends to do for all nations. God looks down on the affliction (v. 31) and groaning (6:5) of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, animists, pagans, and secularists and grieves over their bondage. He determines to send His servants; He promises to be with their mouths and teach them what to do (4:15); and He warns that He will use whatever force necessary to bring liberation (v. 23). We are to open our mouths, speak for Jehovah, and address the religious Pharaohs of our day with the assertive demand: “LET MY PEOPLE GO!” God has ordained a remnant from every people to be redeemed and satisfied in Him. God has promised that from every nation, every tribe, every tongue, and every false religion there will be men and women around His throne, fulfilled in worship, satisfied in the presence of Jesus.
This declaration, this demand of “LET GOD’S PEOPLE GROUPS GO!” is to be shouted by all God’s people in unison. We shout from our knees and we shout in prayer. Central to the work of missions is the banding together in the Spirit of all God’s people, lifting our voices with those around the world and across time, demanding that Pharaoh release God’s peoples. Prayer needs no passport and no financing. Humble prayers in humble homes by humble fathers and mothers in front of their children are part of the global demonstration on behalf of those in the bondage of false religions. John G. Paton was an incredibly fruitful missionary to the (then) cannibal islands of Vanuatu. He went because of his father’s prayers:
My father’s prayers impressed me deeply. When, on his knees with all of us kneeling around him in family worship, he poured out his whole soul with tears for the conversion of the heathen world…we all felt we were in the presence of the living Savior, and we learned to know and love Him as our divine Friend. As we rose from our knees, I used to look at the light on my father’s face and wish I were like him in spirit, hoping, in answer to his prayers, I might be privileged to carry the blessed Gospel to some part of the heathen world.
We are all to partake in Jehovah’s mission. We are all to demonstrate and demand the release of the captives. We can all bend our knees and petition heaven for the nations to be redeemed. God promised this heritage to Abraham and we are Abraham’s sons and daughters. On our knees let us pass on this glorious inheritance to our children. Do not rob your children of their share in Abraham’s blessing because you refused to use your voice to call out in prayer daily for the liberation of all peoples.
 Paton, John G. Thirty Years with South Sea Cannibals. Chicago: Moody Press, 1964.