Who Is God To You?
December 2015 Blog:
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
Exodus 34:6, KJV
When Moses boldly approached God as a friend and asked him to show him his glory I wonder what he expected.
Moses, the servant of the Lord, was certainly comfortable and confident enough in his relationship with God to ask for such a revelation.
We can see God's love and compassion unfold as he prepares his friend for his self-revelation. God hides him in a cleft of a rock and shields his eyes from the brightness of his glory thereby protecting him from death.
His Glory His Name His Character are all one and the same. In God's own words he tells his servant and us WHO HE IS: MERCIFUL GRACIOUS LONGSUFFERING ABUNDANT IN GOODNESS AND TRUTH!
In Job 11:7 he utters the mystery of all ages- how can we know God. In Isaiah 55:8 God confirms that his nature surpasses human comprehension. Through scripture he does however reveal to us aspects of his character which we will explore below:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
Elohim contains the idea of creative and governmental power, of omnipotence and sovereignty. Between Genesis 1:1 and 2:4 the word Elohim is used 35 times.
God is indeed awesome- just a quick recap of the creation story - the earth was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the deep. God said let there be and in the space of 6 days he made what in divine perfect standards he called VERY GOOD.
El Shaddai; Almighty God
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect (Genesis 17:1).
Is there anything too hard for the Lord? God promised to make Abraham a great nation- descendants as numerous as the stars. We are told that Abraham believed God.
What great faith he must have had. But as the years passed and he had no child his faith was sorely tested - God was taking him beyond the realm of human possibility to glimpse at the divine where "all things are possible."
God is as good as his word. His word came to pass then and it is the same now. Hold on to the visions and promises God has given you - God is Almighty. He will always have the last word.
Jehovah; Jireh-The Lord Provides
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14).
Jehovah Jireh represents more than the rescue of Isaac from death as a sacrifice at the hand of his father who was a dedicated obedient friend of God. It tells us about Our Saviour and Our God who sent his son to die for our sins. Jesus Christ the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the earth.
Abraham was right when he prophesied to Isaac "God will himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering" He fulfilled it in Jesus.
Paul tells us if God did not withhold his only begotten son he will graciously provide for us. It is as true for us now as it was for Abraham- God Will Provide!
Jehovah-Rophe; The Lord Heals
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee (Exodus 15:26).
What a mighty promise he gave to the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. We like them have the same promise available on condition of obedience.
Also like the children of Israel we are apt to forget at the hint of difficulty or anxiety. Fear sets in and we forget what miracles God has performed in our lives in the past. How he took us from captivity, parted the red sea of our circumstances, protected us by day with a pillar of cloud and by night with a pillar of fire; how he provides bread from heaven and water from the rock.
We have Jesus' death on the cross and his precious blood which cleanses us from all our sins. Do we believe God can heal us? Are we obedient to his word? If we are -well he has backed his word with a promise of healing. He doesn't say where, when or how, he expects us to believe which means we do not murmur waver, complain or doubt- Only Believe!
Jehovah-Nissi; The Lord My Banner
And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: (Exodus 17:15).
The story behind the name of Jehovah Nissi is significant to us, particularly to those who intercede on behalf of others.
Moses stands on a hilltop. Below Joshua wages war with the Israelites against the Amalekites descendants of Esau (Amalek was his grandson) their sworn enemies.
Moses holds a rod in his hands. As he lifts it up Israel wins. When his hands lower with weakness, Amalek prevails. In the end Aaron and Hur who are with Moses, sit him on a rock and hold up his hands until the Amalekites are utterly defeated.
Our fight as Christians is spiritual. Paul says our weapons are mighty in pulling down enemy strongholds. This story shows us about the power of perseverance in prayer and the importance of intercession. Other stories such as Joshua in Jericho and Jehosophat focus on the weapon of praise which is also mighty in deliverance.
Jehovah-M'Kaddesh; The Lord Who Sanctifies
Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you (Leviticus 20:7-8).
The term sanctify occurs frequently in the Old Testament. Other related words are dedicate, consecrate, sanctuary, hallow and holy. As a people set apart from other peoples, God is calling us to "be holy because I am holy'.
In the vision that changed Isaiah's life and made him a great prophet, there is a wonderful description of Jehovah: Holy, Holy, Holy is Jehovah of Hosts. The beauty of the Lord is seen in his Holiness and it is this Glory he wishes to impart to his own set apart people.
As we come closer to his presence and worship him in the Beauty of Holiness, by beholding we are changed from one degree of Glory to another, by his Holy Spirit.
So we come full circle. God revealed Himself to Moses when he asked to see His Glory. In the same way God desires to reveal His Glory to us and in us which is characterised by His Holiness.
Father thank you for reminding us of WHO YOU ARE. There is NONE LIKE YOU. Lord thank you for being Our Creator, Almighty God, Our Provider, Our Healer, Our Banner and Our Sanctifier. Thank for being Our All in All. In You we live, we move and have our being. Father manifest all these qualities in our lives and our families today-we need you Dear Saviour more than we ever needed you before. May we never take your presence in our lives for granted- ever. May we find grace in your eyes. Show us your Glory Dear Saviour; change us to reflect Your Name, Your Character and Your Image, from one degree of Glory to another by the Power of Your Holy Spirit, amen.
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