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Date:         Tue, 8 Aug 1995 15:08:44 +0200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
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From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 43
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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

                       LORD   our God   LORD
                         *       *       *
                          *      *      *
                           *     *     *
                            *    *    *
                             *   *   *
                              *  *  *
                               * * *

"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
     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

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

    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  |  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl  |  editor of the list Chr-Exp

           "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"

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