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Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 43 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel, to our LORD 2. Exodus 3 Moses' call - The LORD's Name - part 2 1. Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel, to our LORD ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly reading: Deuteronomy 3:23 - 7:11 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD. >From this place, it appears that the LORD is the one God, that there is none besides Him, and that He alone must be served and loved. "Hear, O Israel". That means, "Israel, pay attention". Hear, O Israel, for here follows not some common doctrine, but a very important teaching. Hear, O Israel, to Moses, the true servant of God, who is speaking these words to you. The ministers of the Word, as Moses was then, and as there are also in our times - those ministers of the Word are messengers of the LORD. They speak not their own words, but they speak God's Word. Therefore, Israel: Hear! "The LORD our God is one LORD". The Hebrew has: The LORD, our God, the LORD, one. The Godhead is mentioned here three times. Two times, He is called the LORD, and one time, our God. And the word "one" denotes that the Godhead is one. When you draw it, you get the following: LORD our God LORD * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * one "The LORD, our God, the LORD, One". Who can understand that? The LORD, our God, and the LORD are not three, but the only, true, one God. In the New Testament, we also find these words of our text. Jesus said: "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (Mark 12:29). It would, or course, be a vain profession, when we but say with our mouth, that there is one God, Whom ought to be served. When we but say it, and not do it, it is a vain profession. Yet, the world is full of these people. They have their mouths full of God, but they don't love Him, neither serve Him. That is also, why the apostle James warns us. There were people, who boasted in the knowledge of the one God. Yet, they did nothing more. Then James says, that it is nothing special to believe that there is one God. Listen to him: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19) Also the devils believe in God, but they tremble, expecting their dreadful punishment, in everlasting fire. So, believing that God exists, etc., is well, but yet not enough for you. Such a belief cannot save you. Therefore, in addition to believing the one God, we have to love and serve Him. Anything less is too less, and we will be damned, like the devils. You believe that there is one God? Well done. But now, serve Him also, and love Him. Serve Him not according to your one thoughts, but according to His will. How can we know His will? That is expressed in Scripture. Therefore, cease from reading vain literature, and start thoroughly reading God's Word. And then, in the power of God, walk in His ways. 2. Exodus 3 - Moses' call - The LORD's Name - part 2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Moses is standing at mount Horeb. The LORD appeared in a burning bush, and called him. 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which [are] in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; The LORD is not sitting idly in heaven, but He observed and rules all. He has also seen the affliction of Israel in Egypt. The Egyptians drove them on, to do more and more work. Their labour was so heavy, that they cried unto the God of their fathers. They were in bondage, and it seemed as if the Lord had forgotten them. Where was now the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Had He not sworn them that He would bring them in a good land? And they still laboured in a land of slavery. That is why they cried unto God. Though it seemed that they cried in vain, yet, we see that the LORD had heard them. He knows their sorrows. This is it, what is written at the end of the previous chapter. "And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto [them]." (Exodus 2:23-25) Let then them, who are crying unto God because of their afflictions, know, that the Lord will hear them. Though it seems that He is deaf; though it seems that He does not see their sorrows; yet, God will hear and see it, and He will come to deliver them. 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. When God says that He has come down, then it can be understood of His appearance in the burning bush. He came down, and became visible in the form of a flame, in a bush. We know, however, that God does not need to come down, to perform some thing. For, does He not fill heaven and earth? So, He does not need to come down, but is already here. Yet, there is a reason to say: "I am come down". That is, "from now on, I shall show that I am God, in the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt. I am come down, that is, I will show that I am God, and I will do the work". God uses this mode of speaking, to adapt Himself to our capacity of thinking. He came down to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Egyptians. He will lead them out of the house of bondage, wherein they were held for so many years. Israel did not deliver itself, but God delivered this nation. They were kept in bondage, and were therefore unable to perform their own deliverance. God came down to cut through the bonds, and to set them in freedom. He would, after having delivered them out of the Egyptian bondage, bring them into a good land, flowing of milk and honey. In the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, and in their journey through the desert, we see as in a mirror, what spiritually happens in a man, when God delivers him from sin, and leads him through the desert of this life. Afterwards, such a saved sinner may enter the heavenly Canaan, but for now, he is still journeying through the desert of this life. God delivered Israel, who was unable to deliver itself. Likewise, God saves a sinner, because he is unable to do it by himself. You would say: "Israel, why did you not go out of Egypt in own power?" The answer is, that they were unable, because they were held by the chains of bondage. Likewise you may ask: "Sinner, why don't you save yourself from your daily transgressions, by living a good life from now on?" The answer is, that the sinner is unable, because he is kept by the chains of sin. To save Israel, and to deliver a sinner, that is a task which only the LORD can perform. When He will do that, He says: "Lo, I am come down to deliver you, sinner. I have heard your cry because of the strong chains of sin. I will cut through the bonds, and set you in the blessed freedom of Christ." 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. He has seen both groups of people. First, He has heard the Israelites, who were afflicted. Secondly, He saw the Egyptians, the oppressors. The Israelites cried because of the cruelty of the Egyptians, who oppressed them. The children of Israel prayed to their God, and cried unto Him. Their prayer and cry was not in vain, for the Lord heard it. Let those, who cry and pray, to be delivered from any oppressor, keep this in their minds. Their prayer is not in vain. Though it may seem that the LORD does not hear; yet it is not in vain. The Lord hears it, and will surely come. It may seem a long time, before He comes, but He will surely come. "Behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me". All those who are afflicted by the cruelty of sin and devil, let them cry unto God. Let them cry until He comes to save them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. Here we see the Lord sending Moses to Egypt, to the king Pharaoh, to bring the children of Israel forth, out of the land. Moses is not a servant, who goes on own initiative, or in own strength. There are many ministers, who go and preach in own power, without any charge of God. These are the false ministers. But Moses was a true servant. He was first called by God, and afterwards sent. "I will send thee unto Pharaoh". With which order? To "bring forth My people the children of Israel out of Egypt". 11 And Moses said unto God, Who [am] I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? God had said: Bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses had heard this, and he thought: "O, I am but a simple man; I am absolutely unable to perform such a great task. I am but a shepherd, not able to deliver the children of Israel". And he was right, for who would be able to perform such a great thing in own power? Having conferred these things with himself, Moses said unto God: "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh? And who am I, that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this [shall be] a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. When Moses was thinking himself incapable of performing such a great task, the Lord said to him: "Fear not Moses. You need not to do it alone. Fear not, for I will be with you". Moses thought that he had to do it in own power, but now, he heard that God would be with him. And when God is with us, why should we fear any longer? Even the greatest and most impossible things will be possible for us, when the LORD is with us. You may then freely say: "I can do all things through God, Who strengthens me". Or, the same in other words: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13) Even this impossible task, to deliver the Israelites, will be possible for Moses, when the LORD is with him. Let we read on. To assure Moses, that the LORD has spoken with him, He gives a token. This will be the token, that God is with Moses: When he has brought them out of Egypt, they will serve God in this mountain. This is a remarkable token. It says: When you have done the work, then it appears that the LORD was with you. This token was not visible, when Moses received his charge, to bring the Israelites out. That sign would only be visible, when the work was done. It requires much belief of Moses, to believe God through an invisible token. But it happens more in Scripture, that we must believe without anything visible. That is true belief. Things, which cannot be seen, you must believe. 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, [when] I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What [is] his name? what shall I say unto them? Here is another objection of Moses. He still does not trust God, that He will be with him. Though God has assured Moses that He will be with him, yet Moses keeps objecting. In this verse, he says the following. When I come to my people, and say that God has sent me, they will not believe me. For, everybody can say that God has sent him. They will then ask for proofs. They will ask: "What is His Name?" That is, "Tell us more of God, so that we see that you know Him". When they ask me, says Moses, about Thy Name, what shall I answer them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. The Name of God is: "I AM THAT I AM". That is, "I change not. I remain always the Same. I am the eternal God. I change not, so what I promised to Abraham, I will perform. I was God, am God, and will be God, from eternity unto eternity. You can trust Me, for I am your Rock, Defender, Lord, and Foundation." Fear not then, Israel, for I AM has send Moses unto you. And He will perform His promises of old. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial unto all generations. It is not a strange God, who is sent to the Israelites, but it is their own God. He is the God of their forefathers. The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob. He is now reminding His covenant with you, and what He has sworn to Abraham. This God has sent Moses to you, to deliver you. The holy LORD also says: This is My Name forever. He will always have this Name, and He will never change. "And this is My memorial unto all generations". That is, all generations will remember God by this Name. "But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations." (Psalms 102:12) When the next generations will speak of that God, they will use that Name. The Name which indicates God perpetuity. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop | firstname.lastname@example.org | editor of the list Chr-Exp "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" More info? Send mail containing: review chr-exp Subscribe? 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