When do people tend to make promises - when they are in power or out of power?
Usually we make promises when we're out of power. We may beg for money, drugs, sex, our lives, re-election by making endless promises. But for us, the promise is a substitute for power. Give us power, and the promises dry up.
Not so with the LORD Jesus. He is God Almighty (Ex 6:2) and yet He is the One who makes endless promises to the powerless.
They are promises that define and fill out what it means for Him to be "LORD" - 'I am the LORD' begins and ends them (v2,8).
They are promises grounded in indicatives - "I am the LORD", "I established my covenant", "I have heard", "I have remembered." (v2-5)
They are promises grounded in actual history (v13-27). Looking back on their fulfilment to date will give great confidence for the future.
They are promises that are, at times, too much for His people to absorb in their discouragement (Ex 6:9). Yet nonetheless they are to be proclaimed over them.
They are too much for the preacher as well given the "uncircumcision" of his lips (Ex 6:12). Yet nonetheless the power is not in the preacher but in the promise.
They are promises that prove a watershed - to one side they fall as blessings, to the other as curses. For the Egyptians these very same promises are in fact their judgement (Ex 6:11). Those who are not aligned with the promise find themselves enemies of the God of promise.
And what are these promises? Today, no matter what your discouragement, your burdens, your feelings of slavery to sin - hear the sevenfold promise of the LORD:
"I am the LORD
and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians
I will free you from being slaves to them,
and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
I will take you as my own people,
and I will be your God.
Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
And I will lead you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.
I will give it to you as a possession.
I am the LORD" (Exodus 6:6-8)