Monday, October 08, 2012

God Provides More Instructions About His Name -- Exodus 3:15


And God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

In answer to Moses’ question about what he should tell the children of Israel when they ask, “what is the name of the god who sent you?” God told him that he is simply to say, “I AM WHO I AM sent me.”  Now, in this verse, God seems to be sensing Moses may have not felt that was a sufficient answer to pass along, so He adds more about Who He is.

God seems to be saying, “Look, My name is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  That’s My name forever.  That’s how I want to be known throughout history.”

As we have indicated elsewhere, we believe that this would have had a made a great connection for Moses, and for many of the children of Israel that were living in Egypt at the time.  Through storytelling from generation to generation and perhaps from what they heard in their worship events, they would have been familiar with the lives of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

But God is saying in this verse that He wants this to be His “memorial-name to all generations.”  That means, He wants us living in the twenty-first century to also know Him by this name, “the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob”.  So, what does that really mean for us?

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob collectively are both the actual ‘forefathers’ of the people of Israel as well as Israel’s ‘symbolic’ foundation.  And God is saying, “I want to be known by that name, forever.”  End of statement.  Because of Who God is, then it is safe to assume that He will also be that God “of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” forever.  And that means, to me at least, that Israel continues to be His people, His children, even though many of them may have turned their back to him as we read in Isaiah chapter 1, verses 1-4.  Many people have children who are not walking in harmony with their parents.  They have not disowned them.  They grieve them.  The leave the door of their lives open wide to welcome them back – but in the meantime, they are still their own children.

The New Covenant, made possible through Jesus Christ, opened up God’s arms wider to allow each of us Gentiles, to become part of His original family, through the acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross.  God did not set up a “new family”.  He invited us to His one and only family.  We often forget this.  We think we’re we’re special and better.  We’re not.  His original children, those who have turned their back on Him, are still His.  They may, if they lived once Christ had made His sacrifice for us or are alive now, now come back into His arms, through the same means, just as we read in the story of the Prodigal Son.  What remains to be discovered by the Church today, is how God will deal with those of His original family that had turned their back on Him, had died before Christ’s sacrifice was made, or had died after Christ’s sacrifice without accepting it as their means of redemption.  The verdict, in my opinion, is out on that.

“Why?” you may ask.  The answer is simple.  Good, learned men and women, on both sides of the argument have interpreted the relevant passages differently.  There is no dishonor, and I believe much humility, in simply admitting, “We do not know”.  The alternative is to argue it out with no one moving on the issue.  In the meantime, let none of us throw Israel under the bus.  God does not throw His children under the bus.  Let us pray that they may “come home”.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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