The Lord once appeared before Moses and said this
“I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac,
and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord
I was not known to them.” – YHWH (Ex 6:2-3)
Over here God told Moses that their forefathers do not know his name. But interestingly the word LORD appeared many times throughout the book of Genesis. We understand that man had began calling on the name of the Lord. (Gen 4:26) . We also read of Abraham naming his altar after the Lord
“And Abraham called the name of the place,
The-Lord-Will-Provide; (YHWH-Yireh) as it is
said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord
it shall be provided.”- Moses (Gen 22:14)
So did God make a mistake? Has he told a lie before Moses? How did Abraham name the place so when he did not know the name of the Lord?
God had not spoken wrongly, Genesis was written by Moses. Some rabbis who compiled the Babylonian Talmud claims that God narrated the story of Genesis to Moses. Even till today the debates rages challenging the authorship of the Pentateuch.
I am not a bible scholar nor am I an expert in Hebrew literature. But I believe that it was Moses who wrote the first 5 books of Moses. All along in history these 5 books were known as the law of Moses. Perhaps he may get some scribes to help him. But I choose to believe that God had inspired Moses to write the first 5 books. God may have indeed narrated the story to Moses on the mountain or he may have moved Moses to pen down the common history of the Israelites. It really does not matter to me.
I believe that when Moses penned the stories in Genesis, he used the name of God in them. He wanted Israel to know that the God who brought them out of Egypt, was the same God that appeared to their forefathers.
Gen 6 records the self introduction made by God to Moses. God wanted Moses to tell Israel what kind of God he is. He did it so that Israel could re-establish their faith to God. Let us examine this self-introduction in greater details.
Pt 1: I am God Almighty (El Shaddai)
In Ex 6:3, God said that he is God Almighty. This is a name that carries in important message. It tell us that if God set up to do something. He will accomplish it. There is nothing on earth that could stop and disrupt of the will of God, not even the Pharaoh of Egypt.
When Moses came came before the Pharaoh and told the Pharaoh to let Israel to go. The Pharaoh treated it as a joke. He accused the Israelites for being idle with nothing to do. In response he increased their labour and they have to make bricks without straw. This lead to the murmuring of Israel.
“May the Lord look on you
and judge you! You have
made us obnoxious to
Pharaoh and his officials
and have put a sword in
their hand to kill us.”- Israelites (Ex 5:21)
But God answered
“Now you will see what I will
do to Pharaoh: Because of my
mighty hand he will let them go;
because of my mighty hand
he will drive them out of his
country.”- YHWH (Ex 6:1)
God told Moses that with a strong hand the Pharaoh will get them go. Perhaps at that point of time Israel can only see the hand of the Pharaoh oppressing them and stopping them from leaving. But God is God almighty. Israel eventually saw the great hands of deliverance from God.
We read of how God parted the red sea, saving Israel from the armies of the Pharaoh. We read of how the armies of Egypt perished within the waves of the red sea. We need to continue to place our trust in God. For he is God almighty.
Today there are people who think that God is not omnipotent. They said that there are things God wanted to do but he cannot complete. They claim that God wanted all men to be saved, but in the end not all men were saved. Let us look at these deeper.
Pt 1.1: God will act according to his own will
Was God unable to save man? Or was man unwilling to be saved by God? These are 2 different matter. God will that all men to be saved, but he will not force men to accept his salvation. He will save whoever who is willing to believe in him and follow him.
God will act according to his own will, that is something we ought to understand. For men often thinks that they are smarter than God. They wanted to teach him what he ought to do. They question God “Why are you silent? Why don’t you do this or that? isn’t that a better arrangement?”
“Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counsellor has taught Him?
With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?”-Isaiah (Is 40:13-14)
We often like to tell God what to do, what is worst is when we accuse God of doing wrong and not being just. We speak as if we are wiser than God. That was the mistake committed by the Israelites
They saw God sending Moses to them, but they saw his deliverance brought about hardship. They question among themselves “If God is God Almighty, why did they Pharaoh defy him again and again?”
So they asked God “How long will you wait? How long shall we continue believing?” They have forgotten that he is God Almighty, he had his will, he knows what to do. He does not need us to teach him what to do, or to be his strategist and advisor.
Pt 1.2: Our Response To God Almightiness
Today if we understand that God is God almighty, our obedience to him will be absolute. We will not dare question God or want him to follow our instruction. We will wait on the Lord and pray for his will to be done. We will not ask God to act according to our wishes.
For we know he is God almighty and he knows what is the best action to take. That is the main message why God introduced himself as God almighty and we must believe in him.
God said he is God almighty, let us not use his almightiness only in life on earth. Today many Christians ask God to help them in their lives on earth. They ask God to heal them, to cast out demons, to guide them in their marriage. I do not deny that these are manifestation of Gods power, but Gods power is more than these. It is not just here to perform these.
Even if we are healed today we will fall sick again. This is inevitable. Gods power is meant to establish faith. Let us take a look of this closer.
Pt 1.3: Gods Power In Creation And Resurrection
In Mat 22:23-29: Here we read about the Sadducees who do not believe in the resurrection. They have a good reason to explain why there is no resurrection, they often use these reason in their debates and no one could stand against them. That is why they felt they are right and they brought their argument before Jesus.
They thought Jesus could not answer, but Jesus told them simply that they did not understand scriptures or the power of God. For if they knew it, resurrection is not something impossible.
Likewise some Christians ask “How would those who died in battle come back to life? What if they are swallowed up by a fish? Or blown to Smithereens? how will they resurrect?” those who think like this did not understand the power of God. If they know God, they will know that it is something easy for him. For he had created the world out of nothing. We need to know he is God almighty and he can do it.
Let us consider one more example
“Then Mary said to the angel, “How can
this be, since I do not know a man?”
And the angel answered and said to her,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Highest will
overshadow you; therefore, also, that
Holy One who is to be born will be
called the Son of God. “ – Luke (Lk 1:34-35)
Even today, for a virgin to have a child is a joke, there are many who find it hard to believe. That is why we are not surprised that Mary find it hard to believed. This is beyond human comprehension. But the angel gave her an answer. That is when Mary remembered that God is God almighty. That is why she believed and submitted to the word of God.
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord!
Let it be to me according to your word.”- Mary (Lk 1:38)
If we know God is God almighty, we will be able to resolve many bible difficulties. Even though we are unable to rationalise everything, but God is God almighty. We need to re-establish our faith towards God. Then we will not doubt God.
Pt 1.4 Do Not Be Ashamed Of The Gospel
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation
for everyone who believes, for the Jew first
and also for the Greek. “ – Pau (Rom 1:16)
Why are there people who are ashamed of the gospel of Christ? That’s beacuse they feel that with the gospel comes difficulty and opposition. We will face opposition from believers as well as unbelievers. Sometimes the opposition may come from even our own family. It is indeed hard to preach the gospel today.
For many will mock & despise us. Sometimes those who believes in the gospel will encounter difficulties. Sometimes these difficulties will drive us away so that we would not dare to continue believing. That is why they leave the faith and did not dare to continue
But Paul said he is not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God. He can save those who believe. Even though today it faces massive opposition, even though it appear as if many cannot accept it and reject the gospel.
It doesn’t change the fact that it is the power of God. It is able to save those who believe. Though many do not believe, God knows there are others who are willing to believe it. Let us not be ashamed of the gospel, let us continue to preach to save those who will believe.
Pt 1.5 Believing The Power Of Gods Word
Let us not focus on those who do not believe and mock us. Let us seek out those whoa re willing to listen willing to believe. Perhaps those who believe in it are bounded up and in trouble. But the gospel of God is unchained.
Even though Paul was imprisoned, but the word he wrote continue to preach the gospel across all era and time. Perhaps we see many who preached the gospel failed and fall away in faith. Perhaps they no longer believe in the gospel anymore. But the gospel will continue to save whoever who is willing to believe. We need to believe that Gods word will be victorious in the very end.
Can we still believe in this? Am I speaking out of a blind faith? Am I deceiving myself? Or desperately trying to comfort myself?
That depends if you understand the power of God. If you can still believe he will save those who believe. It depends if you know that the gospel is the power of God. If we know this we will not be ashamed of it. Even if we are bounded up we know his words will still stand.
If we know it is the power of God, we will face up our difficulties with courage. We will not be ashamed of the gospel. We will not be sad when others mock us. For God is God almighty. Do we still believe in his power? That is why we need to rebuild our faith in God.
Pt 2: I Am The God Who Remembers My Covenant
“I have also established My covenant
with them, to give them the land of
Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage,
in which they were strangers.
And I have also heard the groaning of
the children of Israel whom the
Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have
remembered My covenant.”-YHWH (Ex 6:4-5)
God told Moses that he is a God who remembers his covenant. He is here to save Israel and to keep to his part of the covenant. While man often forget the covenant they made with God. God will never forget his covenant. He will never forget his promises to man.
Ex 12:40-43 tells us that 430 years have passed, but God fulfilled his covenant with men. During that period, Israel thought that God have forgotten about them in Egypt. This is because they have no experience with God. They knew that their forefathers spoke direct to God. But 430 years have passed. Israel had not seen any miracles nor have they seen the power of God.
Pt 2.1 : The Faith To See What Is Unseen
They have not heard or seen a prophet of God. Their experience were only handed down by their forefather. Their only link between their forefathers and them was the grave of Joseph. Which serves as a reminder that one day God will take them out of Egypt.
They knew that God had chosen them to be his people, and promised to give them the land of Canaan. But generations have passed to the extent that 430 years have slipped by, they have not seen the power of God nor heard the voice of God.
Can they still keep their faith and believe? Can they still pass that faith to the next generation? Have God truly forgotten them? Have their forefathers place their trust on the wrong God? We are talking about 430 years and not 40 years.
The Author of Hebrews tell us
“These all died in faith, not having
received the promises, but having
seen them afar off were assured of
them, embraced them and confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims
on the earth.” – Author of Hebrews (Heb 11:13)
The fact is that their forefathers did not receive the promise land. It was faith that took them out from their home city to come to Canaan. Their faith allowed them to continue keeping the word of God in the midst of difficulties. They held on to their faith till the end, even to their deathbed.
To the world these men were pitiable and miserable. Even though they respected their unchanging faith. They will say that these people did not receive the promises of God. It appears as if their faith is futile, and they have followed God in vain. But the author of Hebrews tell us that they have seen from afar and embrace it with great joy
Their faith is like a telescope, enabling them to see their heavenly home. That is why they remain steadfast to the end, holding on to their faith. That is why they did not give up, for they believe in the promises of God. They knew God is almighty. They knew that God is a God who remembers his covenant. He will bring it to fulfilment. They held on to their faith and not abandon it.
Pt 2.1: The Reminder Of Joshua
“And you know in all your hearts and
all your souls that not on e thing has
failed of all the good things which the
Lord your God spoke concerning you.
All have come to pass for you; not one
word of them has failed”- Joshua (Jos 23:14)
While exodus teaches us how God kept his covenant and saved Israel, Joshua reminded us that God is a God who keep his commandment. He have given the land of promise to the descendent of Abraham. Joshua knew that he is going to die, so he left his last words for Israel. It is recorded in Jos 23:15-16.
Joshua reminded them that Gods word will always come to past. That is why man ought to keep his covenant with God.
If we go against the covenant we made with God, then God will allow the curse of the covenant to come upon us. But on the flipside, if we keep the covenant, then we would receive the promise that comes with it.
Joshua reminded Israel that God is a God who keeps his covenant. We being his people must choose to keep our covenant with God.
Do we know that God is a God who keep his covenant? Will we choose to keep to our side of the covenant? So What Covenant have we made with Jesus?
Pt 2.2: The Covenant Of Baptism
The first covenant we made with God is the covenant of baptism. It is when God forgives our sins, he turn us from being a sinner to a child of God. The result of that covenant is for us to inherit the kingdom of God.
What is our side of the covenant? What are we suppose to do? How should we hold on to it?
We need to obey the word of God, change ourselves and become a new man. Have we went against this covenant? Have we transgress this covenant? Have we became a new man? Or do we remain our old sinful self at the point of Baptism
If one could remain consistently zealous and faithful to God it will be something good, but how many of us could persist for so long? Is our faith just like the time when we first believe? Or have we change our faith and stop being zealous for God?
Sometimes we allow the things of the world to ensare us. As the result we forget our covenant we made with God. we only thank God for forgiving our sins, but we have forgotten to keep our part and be a new man.
Is this the only covenant that we have?
Pt 2.3: The Covenant Of Marriage
We have also made a covenant of marriage before God. The modern world thinks that marriage is merely between 2 parties, but we have in fact signed the marriage covenant before God. It we believe that marriage is instituted by God, than we will conduct our life of marriage before God and receive our blessing.
Have we forgotten our marriage covenant? Jesus told us that the two will become one flesh. Do we go against that covenant? If we want godly offspring who will serve God, we have to do our part to keep this covenant before God.
Have we taken this covenant lightly?
Pt 2.4: The Covenant Of Holy Communion
There is a third covenant that we have signed, that is the covenant of the Holy Communion. In that covenant we are to remember the death of our Lord. We must not let him die in vain. We must not trample the blood of Christ and let it be flowing for nothing.
We often thank God for dying for us and giving us salvation, but have we learnt to respect the blood of Christ and to give honour to it? Have we trample on his blood without realising it?
A Christian ought to know that Christ will come again, that is why we hold the holy communion often. But sometimes in the midst of doing so we have forgotten what it is meant to remind us of?
The Holy Communion is here to remind us that God is will come once again. This is something we so often neglect. We tend to forget that Christ will come again and the world will be destroyed. If we know that the world will not be there in the future. Will we continue to love the world and invest all our time and effort in it?
We often tell ourselves to focus on the things in the world, till the state that we have forgotten our goals and our status as Christians. Will we choose to be like our forefathers who recognise that they are sojourner on earth?
The world is indeed beautiful and full of comfort. But one day it will be destroyed. At that time we would meet with the God who introduced himself to Moses. He is God almighty and he is a God who remembers his covenant. Do we remember our covenant with him? Will we remain steadfast till he comes again?