And God said to Moses, "I am Yahweh—'the Lord.' I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—'God Almighty'—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. Exodus 6:2-3
My favorite seminary professor said every week in class: "What God has done in the past is a model and a promise for what He will do in the future, but He is too creative to do the same thing the same way twice."
It is easy to trust God when life is easy, we have everything we need, and everyone in our family is happy and healthy. What do we do, however, when things do not seem to be going our way? What do we do when sickness occurs, the financial crisis happens, or when the relationship we depended on crumbles? Perhaps today, you are feeling weary and discouraged. Maybe everyone appears to have the perfect life with friends and family who love them, yet you are currently feeling lonely. Perhaps today you are reminded of all of the hardships in your life. Whatever disappointment or hardship you are facing, there is good news for you: God is faithful. He never changes. He has taken care of you in the past, and He will take care of you in the future.
Throughout this week, we are looking at God's personal name: Yahweh, translated as "I AM." Today, let's study a specific attribute of Yahweh God found in Exodus 6: faithful. We've talked earlier this week about Moses, who learned and taught the people of Israel that God is faithful. He was a Hebrew who had been miraculously adopted by the daughter of the King of Egypt. In a strange turn of events, he fled Egypt and moved to the land of Midian, where eventually God called Him to go back to Egypt and call the king of Egypt to let the Israelites, who were slaves in Egypt, free.
After protesting and questioning God, Moses went to Egypt. When he went, however, the king of Egypt made things even more difficult for the Israelites, and the Israelites became angry at Moses. God, at that time, told Moses that He was going to bring the king of Egypt to the point where he would let the Israelites go. He then reminded Moses of His personal name, Yahweh, and that He was also the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses' ancestors. He took care of Moses' ancestors even before He introduced Himself as Yahweh (remember, God revealed His personal name to Moses first). He was the same God who cared for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and promised them a new land, the land of Canaan. When speaking to Moses, God reminded Moses that He was faithful. If He had taken care of Moses' ancestors, He would also take care of Moses and lead Israel to this promised land of Canaan.
It is evident in Exodus 6 that God wanted Moses and the people of Israel to trust His faithfulness. He wanted them to trust that He keeps His promises. He would, however, be creative with how He rescued the Israelites from Egypt. They would soon find that He would cause 12 different plagues (bouts of darkness, water turned to blood, a huge swarm of flies, etc.) throughout Egypt in order to change the king of Egypt's heart to lead him to let the Israelites go.
Are you having trouble believing that God is going to work in your life? Does it seem that all hope is lost in your particular circumstance? Remember that God is faithful. He keeps His promises. He promises eternal life for those who place their trust in Him and that He will bring good out of any circumstance, even in, especially in, suffering. The way He works may be surprising. He will be creative. It may not be how you hoped your situation would work out, but He will always work every situation out for our good and His glory. Trust in His faithfulness today.
My favorite professor was right: "What God has done in the past is a model and a promise for what He will do in the future." When we feel discouraged, sometimes we must remember God's past faithfulness. Take time today to consider God's great faithfulness to you. Tell someone today your two-minute story of how God has been faithful in your life. As you tell someone your story of God's faithfulness to you, remember that He is still the same God today and if He was faithful in your past, He will be faithful again. It may look different than you expected or hoped, but He can make even the most difficult circumstance hopeful and beautiful.
Read Exodus 6:1-13 (NLT)
Then the Lord told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!”
And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the Lord.’ I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them.
“Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’”
So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave his country.”
“But Lord!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m such a clumsy speaker!”
But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders for the Israelites and for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The Lord commanded Moses and Aaron to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.