Apr 24, 2020, 1:21 PM
Everything we know about God is what He has graciously revealed to us through the prophets, His Word and His Son. (Hebrews 1:1) Our intelligence alone is hardly enough to get us to know Him deeply in order to fully understand His character and nature as God. In the book of Genesis we get to know Him as God – the One who made heaven and earth. Thereafter, other facets have been made known to us progressively, as the need arose. He showed Himself as the covenant God, the God of redemption, God Jehovah, the ‘I am that I am’ and also as Lord.
At the point when the Children of Israel were departing Egypt having lived under the yoke of slavery for 430 years, little was known about the God who was going to liberate them. Pharaoh scoffed at the thought that there was someone somewhere who claimed to be God.
For the Children of Israel, Moses and Aaron - who acted as intermediaries - were nothing but troublemakers who succeeded in aggravating their ordeal after Pharaoh decided to increase their workload. That left them all the more discouraged. So they laid the blame on them.
However, by the time God had dealt with Pharaoh He was being acclaimed as powerful and mighty because of His exploits. The miraculous crossing through the Red Sea by the Children of Israel as the Egyptian army gave chase became the high-water mark of God’s reputation, not only in the region but in the world as it was known then. The defeat of Pharaoh’s army was so spectacular and awesome. “Not one of them survived.” (Exodus 14: 28) All who pursued the Children of Israel were drowned. There was no single survivor.
Throughout their journeys on their way to the Promised Land, the name of the God of Israel sent shock waves to the peoples of the neighbouring nations. God had defended the Children of Israel, had even fought their battles for them and given them victory over their enemies – the Amorites, Hitties, Perizzites, Canaanites and Jebusites. He promised to wipe them all out and He did. (Exodus 23:23)
Israel became a valiant nation, strong and powerful not because of the strength of its people but because of God Almighty. From the lips of a prostitute, named Rahab, addressing the spies who had come to on surveillance mission to Canaan, we learn about the God of Israel. “We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you and you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” (Joshua 2:10-11) God’s reputation and image had crossed frontiers and broken boundaries. The enemies of the Israelites paled at the pronunciation of His name.
Pharaoh’s magicians had successfully mimicked the first two plagues performed by Moses and Aaron. Hard as they tried they could not imitate any more of the remaining plagues. They recognised their inability was a result of God’s doing by admitting: “This is the finger of God.” (Exodus 8:19)
Up until King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, God’s presence was manifested by the ark of God that accompanied the Israelites everywhere. He went ahead of them and offered them the protection they needed. However, whenever they sinned, especially by committing idolatry, they lost to their enemies.
On one such instance the Philistines had overpowered them and seized the ark and placed it in the same temple where they had put their own god - Dagon. The following morning, to their amazement, “there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 5:3) They picked him up and put him back at his place. The next morning when they visited the temple, they discovered unfortunately god Dogon had suffered a worst fate. “…there was Dogon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.” (1 Samuel 5:4) Dogon had succumbed under the powerful presence of the Lord God Almighty! What a mighty God we serve! Quickly they removed the ark out of the temple and resolved to return it to the Israelites forthwith.
Dis kind God, the One we call Adonai, El Shaddai is not like any other kind of idol fashioned out of silver and gold or “made by the hands of men.” He is more than what people call Him. He is wonderful, He is marvellous. Most of all He is alive. He is not like the inanimate gods who “have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see; they have ears but cannot hear, noses but cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats.” (Psalm 115:5-7)
After Jesus calmed the storm at sea and his disciples marvelled, they remarked: “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him.” (Luke 8:25) Our God has exalted Jesus “to the highest place and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10)
Ever seen ‘dis kind God,’ “who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine…”? (Ephesians 3.20)