Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Exodus 7 - I am the LORD

LINK: Exodus 6:28 - 7:24

BACKGROUND

In 6:29, God said "I am the LORD" again to Moses just in case he did not get it the other times. In fact, God will say it many more times. Did you know that this personal name of God, Yahweh, occurs 5,321 times in the Old Testament and is the most frequent designation for Him in Scripture? This does not even include all the times it is used in the contracted form and compounded with other words! The Jews called it the Name, the great and terrible Name, the unutterable Name. Remember Yahweh means the Self-existent One. He is complete in and of Himself. He is eternal, always existing. God just had to keep reminding Moses of that, and I think we need to be reminded of that and let it soak into the very core of our being.

Here is another thing you can sit and soak in for a while:


"And the Egyptians will know that 
I am the LORD." 
(7:5)

God wanted Moses and all of Israel to know that He was the LORD, but He wanted the Egyptians to know too. Throughout Scripture, we will see that God wanted the WORLD to know that He was LORD.

With all of this, Moses still struggled with his feelings of inadequacy, and God appointed Aaron as his prophet (one who speaks for another).

Regardless, Pharaoh's heart was hardened, but it was in order for God to display His miraculous power to a pagan culture that worshipped false gods. Many commentators believe it was an attack on specific gods.


Plague 1: Water of Blood

The way He displayed his miraculous power was through the ten judgments (plagues), and
the first judgment occurred when the Nile rose (July-August). The water was turned into blood. Hapi (Apis) was the bull god, god of the Nile. Isis was goddess of the Nile, and Khnum was guardian of the Nile. Also, the Egyptians believed that the Nile was Osiris' bloodstream. Osiris' was a god of the earth and vegetation. Interesting that the Nile turned to blood! Since agricultural was so essential to the Egyptian economy, I am sure this judgement was quite alarming.

I do not know how the magicians turned water into blood. It seems if they were really powerful though, they would have turned the Nile back into normal water so the people would not have to dig in the sand for water to drink! In any event, this caused Pharaoh to harden his heart and not listen and even turn away. (What a picture of turning your back on God!)

REFLECTION (from 2008)

All Moses needed to know and believe was this four word statement of undeniable fact:

"I am the LORD."

It would carry him through to the deliverance of God's people from bondage.

It will carry me and you through too.

Through this simple, ordinary day, God has continued to whisper: "I am the LORD" to me through the happy reality of homeschooling my kids, meeting with four different (and amazing) women, and the not so happy reality that people around me are dying. . .

Yet God continues to whisper:

"I am the LORD."

And I need to listen and receive this gentle reminder that He is the self-existent, relational One who is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. He is the God who holds everything in His hands, and He is with me and the families of those dying and those who do not have long to live on this earth.

I need to let this wash over me and soak into the core of my being.

He is the LORD.

APPLICATION

Do you believe it when God says I am the LORD? Write this on the tablet of your heart today. You might want to write it on a card or make some kind of visual reminder for yourself. Remember this when circumstances get tough or out of control or when you are feeling inadequate or ineffective. This is all we really need to know.

PRAYER

You are the LORD. I submit to that, and I believe it. I will walk according to that belief no matter what my circumstances. Thank You dear LORD, Amen.
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