Devotions in war time – 24 October 2023


“Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.’ God spoke further to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the LORD; and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I DID NOT MAKE MYSELF KNOWN TO THEM. I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. Furthermore I have heard the groaning of the sons of Israel, because the Egyptians are holding them in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, “I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and YOU SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.”‘ So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage” (Exod 6:1-9). There are two theological problems God must overcome in the story of Israel’s national hostage crises (Pharaoh had taken the entire nation of Israel hostage!). The first theological problem appears in Exodus 5: Pharaoh refuses to listen to Moses because he does not know the LORD (Exod 5:2). The second theological problem appears in Exodus 6: Israel refuses to listen to Moses because they do not know the LORD (Exod 6:9). As surprising as it sounds, Israel is just as clueless about the LORD’s identity as their Satanic oppressors. They had heard ABOUT the LORD (Exod 6:3-4), but they had never heard the LORD (Exod 6:3-4). Just like Pharaoh in Exodus 5, they also refuse to listen to the voice of Moses their redeemer. God, therefore, uses Israel’s national distress to make himself known, so that we will listen the voice of the one whom God has sent, our Savior and our Redeemer. When the wars against the Jewish people are finally over, and we are still standing upon our feet, the whole world will finally know the LORD is the God of Israel, and we, the people of Israel, shall finally listen to the voice of our Redeemer. “The LORD has bared His holy arm in the sight of all the nations, that all the ends of the earth may see the salvation of our God…. But you will not go out in haste, nor will you go as fugitives; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Behold, My servant will prosper, He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted” (Isa 52:10, 12-13).

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