2017-08-29 - Exodus ~ Moses' Second Concern
There is no question Moses' first concern was a valid one and a sign of a healthy change from the young man of some forty years earlier. Next he came up with a second concern he presented to the Lord. Moses wanted to know what he was to say to the Hebrews when he told them he had come to take them from Egypt, and the Lord was the one who sent him. What is the name of God who sent him?
Keep in mind the question here isn’t simply an issue of a name itself, but to name God is to tell about Him, who He is, on what basis He is acting. McGee identifies the problem as, how could Moses explain God to the Hebrews, 5 a people whose knowledge was only oral, not having heard from Him for almost four hundred years?
The names of God are many in number, and each tell something about Him. Murphy in his book on Exodus lists a few:
“He is called Elohim, the Everlasting, when his antecedent eternity and absolute independence are con- templated. He is termed Yahweh, the Self-existent, the Author of all existing things, when he is regarded as the free and personal God, manifesting his being to the intelligent universe by the works of his creative power. He is named El Elion, the Most High God, when his unattainable preeminence above all created things comes into view. He is designated El Shaddai, the Almighty God, when he wishes to set before the mind his unconquerable omnipotence.” i6
It is difficult to clearly understand what God meant when He called Himself “I AM THAT I AM,” but the best understanding appears to relate to the eternal, self-existing, unchanging nature of God. It is God, in this aspect, who was to be the source of encouragement and comfort to the Hebrew people. It was this God who was sending Moses to them, and they were to accept Moses as His representative.
“Praise the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,” (Psalms 135:1 ESV).
In addition to giving God’s name to the people, Moses was to tell of God’s relationship to them, just as he had heard for himself. The people were identified as “the children of Israel,” and God was the one who made the Covenant with their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Covenant was the basis for His coming to their aid. Moses was to be the instrument of their freedom because of that Covenant. The Hebrews would remember God in relationship to the Covenant, His promises, for all their generations.
Exodus Study to be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.