THE LORD JEHOVAH
"And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord." Exodus, chapter 6 verse 2.
It was indeed a grievous hour for the Hebrews in Egypt and perhaps an even more grievous hour for Moses. To have come to an oppressed people with an assurance of deliverance which they believed. But in fact to have brought them into a more desperate plight so that they were worse off by far than they had been before, was a circumstance likely to bring down the curses of the people and to cover Moses with obloquy and shame. A bondage in which the people had by forced labour to make bricks had now been intensified into a bondage in which, making the same number of bricks, they must needs also find all the required straw. There are of course many distinctions in God's dealings with Abram on the one hand and with Moses on the other. With Abram it is a matter of a personal pilgrimage in which in the exercise of faith, he stands before God in vital spiritual power. With Moses with administrative responsibilities, it is not so much faith as insight, insight into the Being, the Nature, the Essence of God. This in corresponding fashion, one sees also in Paul in the New Testament and constitutes these men not only men of faith but men of spiritual and heavenly penetration. Link up then the sum of Paul's teaching, this experience of Moses in Egypt and then crown them with the words of our Lord: "This is life eternal to know Thee the Only God and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent." So one reaches the arresting conclusion not apprehended by many that
1) THE SPRING OF LIFE IS IN THE INCREASING REVELATION OF GOD.
All the patriarchs to whom God spoke seem to be men who were entirely absorbed in God. As you read of them, the things they did, the words spoke, you sense that their minds were evidently preoccupied with God; they longed to know Him and they did know Him. They knew God so well by the absorption of their minds and hearts and wills in Him that they reached the point where they knew with certainty the difference between an impulse of their own nature, the interjection of a thought by Satanic agency, the pressure of mass opinion upon them and that pure diction of the Eternal which spoke with clarity and without confusion to their deepest spirit. Such communication is probably rare if not extinct because world conditions have altered to the detriment of such possibilities. It is one of the penalties of modem life that few escape
This word " Jehovah " the Great " I AM " was sealed to the heart of Moses with great assurance. He recognised the unmistakable voice of God and in this new revelation perceived the veritable essence of life and truth. The word Jehovah was not new as the book of Genesis will quickly demonstrate, but Moses was taking up a familiar word in a new inspiration, seeing its significance and discerning a new vitality. If men only knew it is thus (and dare I say thus only?) that the problems of life are really solved, solved not merely as to the moment, but resolved within the whole fabric of God's universal and eternal law. This was something more than El Shaddai wonderful as was the significance of that Name, it was Jehovah the Great I AM entering into a covenant relationship with Moses and with these people in Egypt.
That covenant relation, was not discerned in its parts at that moment. But seen clearly in the perspective of the centuries and in the revelation of Truth, that covenant relation contained within it absolute deliverance from the tyranny of Pharaoh. It was such a deliverance indeed as left them amazed on the shores of the Red Sea, while they gazed upon the drowned bodies of the taskmasters that had afflicted them. It meant a remarkable and unique sustaining of them in the wilderness, the bringing in to Canaan under Joshua and the establishment, of the people in the land for the ultimates of Messiah, Calvary, Pentecost and Olivet yet to be. All that was in the word of covenant significance, the word JEHOVAH I AM. And it inevitably follows that because God is the Spring of life, the spring of life eternal, then to know God, the Great I AM, is to find for ourselves, by infinite grace, the spring of life. If only we believed it!
MISERY OF MEN.
Now we cannot overlook the occasion of this remarkable revelation. It was when the Hebrews, in bondage and misery for centuries, found themselves in greater misery than ever before. Indeed it was not only a greater misery in actual fact, but intensified by reason of the frustration of their hopes. Moses had come amongst them and spoken of liberty, hopes had risen, but now, alas, their plight was worse than ever before. Gradually, however, the child of God learns that there are treasures in the darkness. They are not imaginary, it is not a matter of hoping that after all God may do something, but knowing that He does it. In the integrity of His Being, His word is the accomplishment in heaven of all those measures that shall at the right time demonstrate themselves amongst men.
If these Hebrews had only known they could have sustained the challenge of those searching days with wonderful optimism. They could have smiled in the face of their captors and masters for the day was drawing near when deliverance for the Hebrews would mean disaster even for Pharaoh on his throne. Here then is the secret: for men whose ways are with God, times of misery are always times of revelation, a new communion with God and a new communication from God. All human misery is temporal but all divine revelation is eternal. In times of misery God is seeking to bring to us this exchange by lighting up our trial with the sense of its temporality and then manifesting Himself in all the glory of His eternity. Now this is much more important than the carnal mind realises because when God lights up the passing character of our misery its power to tyrannise us collapses. Our misery dominates and enslaves us only because we give it the sense of permanence. When that is broken and we see it in its perspective its bondage and domination are broken.
Similarly when in our misery God speaks to us the word concerning Himself then assuredly the revelation of His Being means a corresponding communication to us, of all that He is. There are all sorts of nostrums and palliatives for the miseries of men and the world is full of subtle and seducing remedies for our ills. Carnal man will ever fly to them because he can think of no solution to the ills of man save those within the ability of man. Hence he is doomed to continued disappointment and sorrow. His burdens weigh grievously upon him and his cry goes down to the grave. But God makes known Himself in his Being, the Great I AM. Listen then to the word of revelation in the midst of their misery: " I WILL bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians," I WILL rid you out of their bondage," I WILL redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments," " I WILL take you to me for a people," " I WILL be to you a God," "I WILL bring you in unto the land," "I WILL give it to you for an heritage." And in those words Moses knew the whole power of Egypt was pulverised and its tyranny and bondage would turn upon Pharaoh and his people in judgment.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Everything! Any person may appeal to you but the child that bears your name cannot be refused. What introductions may be secured under the influence of a name. This name JEHOVAH meant everything. It gathered to itself the Divine cognisance of their misery, the assurance of the everlasting covenant of grace and mercy and the communication of power that meant deliverance and victory. It was a Name that in answer to their faith in the Name should bring them out of Egypt, through the Desert and into Canaan. It was by this Name that Jehovah was known and through faith in that Name the Hebrews were to see victory over every enemy. What then shall you and I say of the Name of JESUS? In the covenant of redemption we have everything. That Name means to us ,the answer to every problem of time and every disaster and fear of eternity. Happy indeed is the man who truly knows the Name of Jesus, to whom Jesus means uttermost love, redemptive blood, resurrection life, power over every evil habit and every evil thing, power over the old nature, power for holiness and sanctification, victory over every sin, inward peace, heavenly fellowship, immortality, eternal likeness to Christ at His Coming and life with Him throughout the ages. All that and more is in the Name. It is by that precious Name we have our access in worship into the holiest of all, it is by this wonderful Name that we know the newly slain and living way, it is the Name of Jesus, Saviour, Redeemer, High Priest, Second Adam, Life-Giving Spirit, Living Lord and Coming King. To know Him so is life indeed and all else is vanity.
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