"I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them." Exodus 6:3
"Yahweh (YHWH);" that's how the children of Israel knew God. He was Almighty to them, too holy to even speak His name. They thought of Him in a very far off sense. Not unlike some people do today.
To some, God is acknowledged simply as a Great spiritual force. Because although He is known "as," He is not always known "by." In other words, I know the President of the United States as the President but I am not known by him personally. It was the same thing for the children of Israel. Many people knew of God, but they didn't really know Him.
According to the above scripture, God was about to reveal Himself to His people in an intimate new way. They would come know Him as "Lord" which refers to God, who "reveals Himself continually." It's important to note the timing that the Lord chose to do this in.
God's people were in the midst of great trials. They were under the bondage of slavery in Egypt. God had just sent Moses to free them. Moses requested that the Hebrews be allowed to go worship God. Pharaoh got really mad. As a result, he demanded they make bricks, without providing any straw to make them, as punishment. Now they were expected to get the straw themselves, make the bricks and not fall behind in their usual quota. They were beaten if they did not meet the Pharaoh's standard, which as you can imagine they could not possibly meet.
Although God was there working in their lives, they were so blinded by the pain of what they were going through, that they could not see His hand in the midst of their circumstances. God's word says, "So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage." Exodus 6:9
It's hard to see beyond the pain in our lives. But just because we don't see it, it doesn't mean that God isn't there working. God made a covenant with them, promising that He would redeem them with an "outstretched arm" and that they would be His people and He would be their God. "Therefore say to the children of Israel: 'I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." Exodus 6:6-7
In today's terms I think of that outstretched arm as Jesus, God's great work of redemption. In Christ, God reaches His arm out from heaven. He wraps it around those who trust in His shed blood for the forgiveness of sin, and brings us back to Himself. Isaiah 53:1 says, Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
God's redeeming power is illustrated beautifully in the children of Israel's exodus from Egypt. Likewise, God reveals Himself to us. He does that through His word and in the midst of our circumstances. Maybe you are in a painful situation. Perhaps you feel enslaved to something or someone. Jesus sees your tears. He knows your pain and He cares. He is not a far away God. Through Jesus Christ, God the Father gets up close and personal. He works through our bad situations.
Were it not for our trials we would not see the comforting hand of God. It's true. It doesn't make it easier to go through things knowing that. But it does give us hope knowing that our God is a God who rescues us continually. "Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; and rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever;" Psalm 136:3-4 God's mercy does endure forever. He tries to show us that, but are we looking?
Don't let the pain of your circumstances blind you from seeing your God. Know that whatever you are going through, God sees you and is revealing Himself to you, just as He did in the days of the Hebrews. God is the same, today, tomorrow and forever. He doesn't change, but His revealed love will change you
Lyn Ventura is a Christian writer from New England. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com
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