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I am the Lord your God (2 of 6)

Shane Willard

Page 2 of 8
So Abraham goes on a 2,300 mile walk - that's a long way man! 2,300 miles - with a 100 year old wife - can you imagine? Imagine being 100 years old, on a camel, for 2,300 miles. You get off, and: oh, all stiff.

Along the way, at some point, he said: God - what do You want me to do? God said: I'm glad you asked. You see that rock? Yes. Pick it up, circumcise yourself with it. So the first command God ever gives somebody, is to a 100 year old man, and He says: rock; swing hard, don't miss! Good Lord!

So the first picture you have, of God relating to a human being, is a 100 year old man going: dear God, help me! But you know that gave him the ‘ace of spades’. You imagine 1,000 miles into the journey, and his 100 year old wife's like: Abraham - are you sure you know where you're going? I'm sure. You sure? I'm sure. How sure are you? Woman shut up! I'm so sure, I circumcised myself with a rock! You win! You're circumcising yourself with a rock - you win!

He made a covenant with El Shaddai. Now this is very important, because He relates here as ‘Jehovah’. He makes a covenant with El Shaddai; so when Abraham has a son named Isaac, Isaac would have said: dad, who are we covenant with? His dad would have said: El Shaddai. Isaac has a son named Jacob: dad, who are we in covenant with? El Shaddai. Jacob has 12 children: dad, who are we in covenant with? El Shaddai. Those 12 children have 12 children, and all 144 of them say: who are we in covenant with? El Shaddai. Those people then have 12 children; who are we in covenant with? El Shaddai. They end up in slavery - El Shaddai, El Shaddai - for 430 years. They're in covenant with God Almighty.

Finally God shows up to Moses in a burning bush; and He says: Moses, My name is Jehovah. I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses said: uh-ah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is El Shaddai.

God says this: I revealed myself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as ‘El Shaddai’; but by my name ‘Jehovah’, they didn't know Me. This was a further revelation of who God was - this wasn't just ‘God Almighty’ - this was ‘I Am’.

Later He reveals Himself as: I Am Healing (Rapha); I Am Provision (Jireh); I Am (Tsidkenu) Righteousness; I Am Sanctification (Mikadesh). I Am Peace (Shalom). I Am Your Shepherd (Rohi). I Am the Ever Present One (Shammah) - and so God revealed Himself over time, with extended revelations of who He was.

He couldn't reveal everything He was at once (obviously); but then over time, He revealed Himself as different revelations, and different names. There were these names that kept being revealed, until one place - there's a guy named Jesus; and one writer says that in Jesus, there was given a name that was above every other name, whether that name be written in heaven or on earth or under the earth, that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. In other words, Jesus is the encapsulation of all the names of God written before - so He's relating as Jehovah.

3) He identifies Himself as their God - before they did anything.

4) He declares His deeds for them - but they have not done anything yet.

He says: I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of bondage; which lends oneself to question: does God expect anything from us? If He does, what is it? What is God expecting from us?

We could say it a lot of different ways, but I would say it just one simple way: God expects us to respond to His love. Whatever that looks like, God expects us to respond.