Who Are You?

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:13-15 [2]

Moses first objection, “Who am I?”, to the second chance to fulfill his calling left him sitting on the sidelines as irrelevant. God has a plan that will be fulfill based on who he is not who Moses is. The second objection is a logical progression. Who are you? Anyone could say the God of your fathers spoke to me. If Moses really knew the God of their fathers, he would know his name.

God responded to the inquiry for his name by saying “I AM”. The Hebrew word translated “I AM” means “to exist.”[3] He followed this assertion of his existence by repeating the name he already gave to Moses when he told Moses he was standing on holy ground. “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God instructed Moses to tell the Hebrews the God of your ancestors “exists”. After 200 years the question of his existence would be valid. The repetition of God’s name is a repetition of the oath he swore to fulfill when Abraham obeyed him. He was reminding them of the oath he swore to fulfill when he heard the Hebrews cry and investigated.

In summary, God told Moses to say to the Hebrews that the God who swore an oath to Abraham that both the Hebrews and the Gentiles who have the same kind of faith in God that Abraham did will become a great nation more numerous than the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. This diverse multitude of people from every nation will possess the Promised Land, and be a blessing to all nations. God will bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them. He will establish his covenant to be their God. They will possess the gate of their enemies, which is another way of saying they will not be governed by those who hate them. They will govern their enemies. This God exist and has appeared in remembrance of that oath.[4]

If Moses had any question about the part he would play in the oath being fulfilled or that the oath would be fulfilled within his lifetime God put it to rest. Regarding his name, God also said, “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.” Not only did God exist when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived, he will exist forever, from generation to generation.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] H1961 היה hâyâh haw-yaw’ A primitive root, to exist (Strongs Concordance)

[4] Exodus 2:24

Who Am I

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:11-12 [2]

Moses’ encounter with God stirred up memories buried deed. God wanted Moses to help the Israelites. Moses tried to help his family 40 years earlier. They rejected him. He was not interested in trying again.

The question Moses posed, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” sounds like humility. Moses will be crowned with the title of the meekest man in all the earth, but he is not there yet.

God’s response reveals Moses arrogance. “I will be with you…” Who Moses “is” was irrelevant to God. God had already been to Egypt, assessed the situation and had a plan. Moses was only a tool in God’s hand to fulfill his plan which spans generations.

The proof God was with Moses in this endeavor is interesting. God said to Moses, “This will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” God’s plan is to bring his people to the land he promised Abraham, but he does not include Moses in that aspect of the plan. At this point, Moses will bring the people out of Egypt and lead them in worshipping God on the mountain where he encountered the burning bush.

People familiar with this story know Moses will sin and be forbidden to cross the Jordan. Did God foresee this event in Moses life? Is that why Moses will bring the people out, lead them in worship, but not lead them into the Promised Land? I suppose that is possible, but I think there is another valid reason. The only one who can lead us into the Promised Land of true justice and equality is Jesus.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

Holy Ground

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:4-6[2]

God patiently waited in a flaming bush that was not harmed by his presence until the unusual sight attracted Moses attention. “Moses, Moses,” he called from the bush, and now had Moses full attention.

God did not want him to “come any closer”[3] and yet he did. He told Moses to take his shoes off because he stood on holy ground. Was the ground more holy than God? God’s presence made the ground holy. Why didn’t God say “Don’t come any closer for I am holy.” Instead he told Moses to remove his man-made shoes so his God made feet could touch holy ground. If God’s presence made the ground holy, it also made Moses holy.

I don’t know why God did not want Moses to come close. I am confident it had nothing to do with God’s “holiness”. Centuries later, God expressed his disdain for a ‘holier than thou” attitude through Isaiah. Speaking about the Hebrews who abandoned him for a man-made religion God said, “They say, ‘Keep your distance. Don’t touch me. I’m holier than thou.’ These people gag me. I can’t stand their stench.”[4]

Moses stood before a usual sight with shoes in hand and heard a remarkable declaration. “I am the God of your father: the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” It had been 214 years since God told Jacob he would go with them to Egypt. Jacob would die in the presence of Joseph, but they would become a great nation and God would bring them back to Canaan.

Apparently Moses was not afraid until God identified himself, but I wonder why. Afraid is used once in all of the patriarch’s interactions with God. When Jacob fled from Esau, God appeared to him in a dream. Jacob awoke thinking he had found the gate to Heaven that led to God’s house. As Moses grows in the knowledge of God, his fear will be replaced with a request to see God’s glory.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 3:5

[4] Isaiah 65:5 Message Bible

The Unusual in the Common

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 3:1-6 [2]

When God was concerned about his people. It did not matter that the people needing help had rejected the man God choose to lead them. God is faithful. He made promises to their ancestors. Those promises govern his actions regardless of their good or bad behavior.

Years of doing Egypt’s dirty work and the genocide of their male children had prepared them to accept God’s way. Visiting a man who did not need deliverance was the first item on God’s plan to help his people. Forty years had elapsed since Moses first attempt to deliver them from Egypt’s abuse. This former son of Pharaoh, at one time mighty in word and deed[3], had been reduced to tending sheep on the backside of a desert. He had accepted that he would never fulfill God’s plan for his life. But the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.[4]

There were a lot of ways God could have spoken to Moses. He could have walked into his tent, appeared to him in a dream, or thundered a command from the heavens. He chose to wait in a burning bush that was not consumed by his fire. Bushes bursting into flames were a common sight in the area. Bushes aflame without being consumed were not.

God waited until Moses saw the unusual in a common sight and stopped to investigate. Moses decision to investigate brought him into the presence of God. When God saw he had Moses attention the deliverance of his people from Egypt’s power began.

[1] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[2] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Acts 7:22

[4] Romans 11:29

He Remembered

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 2:24 [1]

There is a specific reason God responded when he heard the Hebrews groaning. He remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To understand God’s actions when he responded to the groaning of his people we need to remember what God remembered.

The covenant God remembered is the oath that he swore to give the land of Canaan to Abraham. Abraham never received the things God promised him. He died in faith believing both he and his seed would inherit the land. For three generations God repeated his promise. Isaac and Jacob also died in faith without possessing the land.

God could not keep his promise within the life time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because the “seed” the promises were made to had not been born. The only way for them to possess the promise is through the seed, which the New Testament identifies as Jesus. Through Jesus everyone who possesses the same kind of faith Abraham possessed will also inherit the Promised Land.

God’s promise encompasses more than land. Both the Hebrews and the Gentiles who have the same kind of faith in God that Abraham did will become a great nation more numerous than the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven. This diverse multitude of people from every nation will possess the Promised Land, and be a blessing to all nations. God will bless those who bless them and curse those who curse them. He will establish his covenant to be their God. They will possess the gate of their enemies, which is another way of saying they will not be governed by those who hate them. They will govern their enemies.

When God appeared to Moses he had a bigger plan in view than delivering the Hebrews from the mess their unfaithfulness to him created. His plan could not be fulfilled within Moses lifetime for the same reason he did not fulfill it in Abraham’s lifetime. Moses ministry brought humanity one step closer to a plan that spans generations and culminates when Jesus returns to take possession of the land promised to Abraham and Jesus.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians that the Lord Jesus Christ “gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father…”[2] God will help us overcome our addictions, heal our bad marriages, lighten the consequences of the stupid things we do, but the purpose of his death is much grander than giving us a better life today.

It is our love for this evil age and its evil rulers that is the root of many of our sorrows and problems. God sent Moses to Egypt so we can “know him” giving us a valid reason to desire him more than the rulers of this age.

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Galatians 1:3-4

Deliverance Delayed

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Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible.

Exodus 2:24-25[1]

There is a common misconception that the Hebrews[2] lived in slavery for 400 years. They lived in Egypt for 214 years, not 400. The first 100 years in Egypt they enjoyed the favor of Pharaoh and the best Egypt had to offer with one exception. The Egyptian’s religion made them second class citizens. Even Joseph, second only to Pharaoh, was not permitted to eat at the same table with Egyptians.[3]

Except for the indignity of racism, they were fine until a new Pharaoh motivated by fear afflicted them. When the Egyptians decided throwing male Hebrew babies into the Nile was a good idea, the Hebrews deliverance was born. Before Moses birth[4] God chose to spare him from death in the Nile that he might become the prince and judge to deliver his family.

They had lived in misery under Pharaoh’s rule forty years when Moses, the adopted son of Pharaoh, attempted to fulfill his calling. Moses proved his commitment to the Hebrews when he killed an Egyptian in a quest to protect them from abuse. But when he judged the wrongs they committed against one another, they rejected him.

Moses fled Egypt in fear of Pharaoh is another myth born in vain human thinking. Neither Moses nor his parents[5] were afraid of the earthly king of Egypt. “By faith he [Moses] left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger…”[6] Moses had no intention of living in the slavery his brothers had accepted. While Moses lived in faith as a free man, the generation who rejected him died in slavery.

After the king the Hebrews loved died, they remembered the God of their fathers and cried to him for help. When God heard their groaning, he “took knowledge of them and concerned Himself about them [knowing all, understanding, remembering all].”[7] God sent Moses back to Egypt. This time they will accept him.

If you are struggling in misery today, ask yourself who you are clinging to that God wants you to let go of, and who you rejected that God wants in your life.

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] From the time God promised to change Jacob’s name to Israel, Jacob and his descendants were addressed as both Jacob and Israel, which can be confusing. In Follow Me: Deliverance, I will use “Hebrews” to identify the children of Jacob.

[3] Exodus 43:32

[4] Isaiah 49:1, Jeremiah 1:5, Galatians 1:15

[5] Hebrews 11:23

[6] Hebrews 11:27

[7] Exodus 2:25 Amplified Bible

Follow Me: I Will

I-Will-Win_www.FullHDWpp.com_Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Genesis [1]

The will of God is easy to find. Some might disagree with that statement, but it’s true. Throughout the Bible God repeatedly says “I will”. Whatever follows the “I Will” is the will of God. Some of the I will’s apply to individuals, some to the nation Jacob’s children became, some pertain to the surrounding nations and some to all of us. Discern which I wills belong to all of us, and you have found the “will” of God for your life.

I know. The I wills may not address the will of God for an individual pertaining to ones gifts and callings or more personal matters regarding a marriage partner or career choice. But if you lack direction for your life this is a good place to start. Knowing God’s will for his people gives direction for one’s gift, calling and personal matters.

God spoke the same I wills for three generations beginning with Abraham. According to the New Testament, the promises in the gospel he preached to Abraham were made to two men – Abraham and Jesus.[2] Any one from any nation who walks in the faith of Abraham will inherit the promises God made to Jesus.[3]

Therefore, the will of God for his people is to possess the land he showed Abraham forever. We will become a great nation more numerous than the dust of the earth and the stars of heaven that is a blessing to all nations. God will bless those who bless us and curse those who curse us. He will establish his covenant with us to be our God. We will possess the gate of our enemies, which is another way of saying we will govern our enemies. They will not govern us.

Did you notice the promises lack specifics. There is more to the gospel than the brief summary in the preceding chapter. The promises God made to Abraham and Jesus were the beginning of fulfilling the promise God made to humanity in the Garden of Eden.

I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.[4]

Jesus has come and returned to heaven without receiving the land God promised him. We are still strangers and foreigners on earth often ruled by the enemies of God. Clearly, God is still revealing and fulfilling his “I wills”.

[1] All scripture quotes are from the NIV Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] Galatians 3:8, 16

[3] Galatians 3:29

[4] Genesis 3:14