12 December 2, 2012 Exodus 6 & 15, YahwehDocument Transcript
Yahweh Our God Exodus 6 & 15 December 2, 2012 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi, USAThe most widely accepted pronunciation of Yahweh is: YOH vah = LORD ye HO vah (Jehovah). Next week: Yahweh Our Father Psalm 103:1-18 December 16 Yahweh Our Righteousness December 23 Jesus Our Immanuel Today we are in Exodus 6 & 15 Reference material: LifeWay Christian Resources of the SBC
Focal Passages: Yahweh Promises Exodus 6:2-8 Yahweh Keeps His Promises Exodus 15:1-3 Yahweh Stands Alone Exodus 15:11-13This Lesson Is About: The name by which God reveals Himself—Yahweh—a name that shows His sovereign and powerful character. In the most ancient Old Testament manuscripts, Gods true name is depicted as YHWH, (a Hebrew theonym known as the tetragrammaton ). In English, we know God’s name as Yahweh. This lesson can help us trust God as the One faithful God Who is able. In Hebrew thought, a name revealed something of the inner person. Names often reflect the parents’ desire that as their children grow they will develop exemplary character. They want the names to reflect the children’s uniqueness, their individuality.
The Scriptures contain many names for God. These multiple names suggest that God cannot be pressed into the perimeters of human language. He is much more than any name or number of names can express. Yet the name by which He makes Himself known—Yahweh—is foundational in our limited understanding of Him. The name Yahweh stresses that God is personal, has always existed, is the Creator, is the only God, is adequate to meet needs, and does not change.
Focal Passages: Yahweh Promises Exodus 6:2-8 Yahweh Keeps His Promises Exodus 15:1-3 Yahweh Stands Alone Exodus 15:11-13Yahweh PromisesExodus 6:2-8 HCSB2 “Then God spoke to Moses, telling him, “I am Yahweh. 3 I appeared to Abraham,Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but I did not reveal My name Yahweh to them.4 I also established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the landthey lived in as foreigners. 5 Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites,whom the Egyptians are forcing to work as slaves, and I have remembered Mycovenant.6 “Therefore tell the Israelites: I am Yahweh, and I will deliver you from the forcedlabor of the Egyptians and free you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with anoutstretched arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as My people, and Iwill be your God. You will know that I am Yahweh your God, Who delivered you fromthe forced labor of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land that I swore to give toAbraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you as a possession. I am Yahweh.” Exodus 6:2-8 HCSB Later, as part of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:7, God prohibited the misuse of His name (taking His name in vain).Exodus 20:7 HCSB7 “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leaveanyone unpunished who misuses His name.” Exodus 20:7 HCSB The Jews came to consider the name Yahweh so sacred they would not use it but substituted the word Adonai (Lord) for it. The name Yahweh is based on the Hebrew verb “to be” and is a combination of the consonants YHWH and the vowels of the word Adonai (translated Lord). Suggested translations include: “I am what I am,” “I will be what I will be,” “I will continue to be Who I always have been,” and “I am He Who is.” An appealing suggestion is that the name means “I am what I will reveal to you I am.” The difficulty of arriving at a definite translation demonstrates the mystery God retains for Himself and the inadequacy of words to express His indescribable greatness. The name Yahweh first appears in Genesis 2:4.
Genesis 2:44 “These are the records of the heavens and the earth, concerning their creation atthe time that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Genesis 2:4 The Amplified Bible uses the name Yahweh for God in Exodus 6:3 and calls it : the redemptive name of God. The Holman Christian Standard Bible uses "Yahweh" over 50 times. The only OT books it does not appear in are: Ecclesiastes, the Book of Esther, and Song of Songs. The name expresses God’s exclusiveness and covenant loyalty.1 Kings 8:23 NIV23 “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below—You Who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continuewholeheartedly in Your way.” 1 Kings 8:23 NIV It also indicated that God is not just a superior power or force but He is a Person. In the Old Testament, the name came to describe the God Who was present to save and supremely able to deal with all circumstances. In Genesis 17:1, God identified Himself to Abram as “God Almighty,” Who would establish His covenant with Abram and fulfill His promise of a son for Abram and Sarai.
The Hebrew term rendered God conveys the sense of strength, power, and separateness from humans. The word almighty has the idea of self-sufficiency. The patriarchs (“first fathers”) had known God primarily as the one and only true God Who could and would do what He said He would do and was to be approached reverently. God’s statement that He had not revealed His name Yahweh to them did not mean they were totally unaware of the name (see Gen. 15:7).Genesis 15:77 “He also said to him, ‘I am Yahweh Who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans togive you this land to possess.’” Genesis 15:7 He likely meant He related to them in terms of His power to keep His promises to Abraham. They may have known the name Yahweh but not what it revealed about God’s nature. In Exodus, He would relate to His people not only in terms of might but also in terms of His presence with them. Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift from God, that’s why we call it the Present! In relationship with Him, they would continue to learn about His nature as He made Himself known to them. God had established a covenant with Abraham and extended it through Isaac and Jacob, in which He promised to give them the land of Canaan.
Canaan lay between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. From south to north, it stretched roughly from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River. In Genesis 17:8, God promised to give Canaan to Abraham and his descendants. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their families had lived in the land as foreigners (literally, “the land of their sojourning”). They owned considerable resources but still were aliens in the land. In addition to having established His covenant with the patriarchs, God had heard the groaning of the Israelites as they toiled in forced labor under the Egyptians. That God heard meant He was attentive to the Israelites’ plight, implying an answer of help. His statement, “I have remembered My covenant,” does not mean the covenant had slipped His mind, that He had forgotten. Remembered has the sense of readiness to act. *God was about to fulfill His covenant promises. God directed Moses to tell the Israelites that Yahweh—the covenant-making, covenant-keeping God—would rescue them from Egyptian slavery. Their forced labor was about to end. By His sovereign power (outstretched arm) and mighty acts of judgment on Egypt, Yahweh would redeem them from the Egyptians’ iron grip. Redeem comes from a Hebrew term that means “kinsman redeemer,” the closest of kin whose responsibilities included avenging his kinsman’s death, marrying his kinsman’s widow to produce a son to extend the family name, buying back land that had been sold, and freeing his kinsman from bondage.
That God would act as the Israelites’ kinsman-redeemer stressed two truths: (1) The relationship between God and His people was as close and personal as family relationships. (2) God would go to any lengths and make any sacrifice to free His people. The kinsman-redeemer is also seen in the book of Ruth where Boaz is the kinsman-redeemer who marries Ruth. The kinsman-redeemer is a picture of Jesus Christ! The exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt and their return to the promised land constitutes on of the most remarkable liberations in world history.
The exodus makes up an integral part of Biblical faith in both Testaments. There arose a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8) and had no appreciation that Joseph had interpreted a dream for a previous Pharaoh that averted a national crisis (Genesis 41). The land of Goshen in Egypt, was located east of the Nile River (otherwise the Israelites would have had to also cross the Nile at the time of the Exodus). Goshen was the capital region and the agricultural heartland of the nation. The geographical location of the Hebrews caused additional concern for this new Pharaoh since they lived east of Egypt in Goshen. Most of Egypt’s enemies came from the east and the Pharaoh knew that the numerous Hebrews might unite with an enemy that came from the east. Inexplicably and mercilessly, Pharaoh enslaved them!Exodus 1:9-149 “Pharaoh said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous andpowerful than we are. 10 Let us deal shrewdly with them; otherwise they will multiplyfurther, and if war breaks out, they may join our enemies, fight against us, and leavethe country.” 11 So the Egyptians assigned taskmasters over the Israelites to oppressthem with forced labor. 12 But the more they oppressed them, the more theymultiplied and spread so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.13 They worked the Israelites ruthlessly 14 and made their lives bitter with difficultlabor in brick and mortar and in all kinds of fieldwork. They ruthlessly imposed all thiswork on them.” Exodus 1:9-14Exodus 3:11-1611 “But Moses asked God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and that I shouldbring the Israelites out of Egypt?”12 He answered, “I will certainly be with you, and this will be the sign to you that Ihave sent you: when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will all worship God atthis mountain.”
13 Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of yourfathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tellthem?”14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites:Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and theGod of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever; this is how I am to beremembered in every generation.16 “Go and assemble the elders of Israel and say to them: Yahweh, the God of yourfathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has appeared to me and said: I havepaid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt.” Exodus 3:11-16Exodus 5:1-21 “Later, Moses and Aaron went in and said to Pharaoh, “This is what Yahweh, theGod of Israel, says: Let My people go, so that they may hold a festival for Me in thewilderness.”2 But Pharaoh responded, “Who is Yahweh that I should obey Him by letting Israel go?I do not know anything about Yahweh, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” Exodus 5:1-2 Each of the ten plaques corresponded to a god that the Egyptians worshiped so God was showing His absolute authority over each one of them. In addition to the death knell for Egyptian beliefs, might the plaques have served another purpose? The answer is, yes. Loudly and clearly, the plagues answered Pharaoh’s question: “Who is Yahweh?”
Two conclusions appear obvious: (1) The plagues communicated Yahweh’s sovereignty and Yahweh’s power. (2) The plagues changed Pharaoh’s belief regarding the power and the sovereignty of Yahweh. When the plagues concluded, Pharaoh had the answer to his question, “Who is Yahweh?” The Exodus occurred about 1446 B.C. The Exodus, with the plagues, represent more than the central event of the OT. They remind subsequent generations of God’s sovereignty and power. In delivering the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, God would make them His covenant people. The covenant involved mutual responsibilities: God would take them as His people. The Hebrew word translated take could have the ideas of buying, taking in marriage, and acquiring for oneself. God would redeem the Israelites for relationship with Him. In turn, they would recognize Him as their God. “I will be your God” expressed God’s close relationship with His people and His singular right to them. Through His redemptive activity, the Israelites would know by experience He was their covenant God. Delivering them from the forced labor of the Egyptians would demonstrate His reality and power as the one true God. It also would stand as irrefutable historical evidence of His entering a covenant with them. God stressed He would take the Israelites to Canaan, the land He had sworn to give the patriarchs. He would fulfill the covenant promise to which He referred in verse 4. The Hebrew term rendered swore is picturesque. It means “lifted up the hand” as a gesture in affirming an oath. God vowed to keep His word that He would give Canaan to the Israelites as a possession. For the fourth time in verses 2-8, God affirmed: “I am Yahweh” (see vv. 2,6,7). He is; He is the only God; and He is the God Who makes and keeps covenant promises. Proverbs 3:5-6 discloses a foundational truth in relationship with God.
Under His inspiration, the writer advised: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB Faith in the covenant God—focusing life on Him—will be met with His provision for right living. He is present and active in His people’s lives. We can count on that Scriptural promise! God wants a personal, covenant relationship with all people, including you and me. His promises to us demonstrate He wants to be involved in our lives. We discover His promises by reading and studying His Word.Focal Passages: Yahweh Promises Exodus 6:2-8 Yahweh Keeps His Promises Exodus 15:1-3 Yahweh Stands Alone Exodus 15:11-13Exodus 15:1-31 “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord. They said: ‘I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.2 The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.3 The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is His name.” Exodus 15:1-3 Pharaoh refused to free the Israelites, but through a series of 10 plagues (blows or strokes) against the Egyptians, God effected their release. Pharaoh and his people urged the Israelites to leave; they did so quickly. As the Israelites traveled toward the Red Sea, Pharaoh had second thoughts about losing such a large number of forced laborers. He and a large military contingent pursued the Israelites, overtaking them on the Red Sea shores.
God miraculously parted the sea so His people could cross safely to the other side.
When the Egyptians pursued them, the walls of water collapsed, drowning Pharaoh’s entire force. Rescued from their oppressors, the Israelites celebrated God’s great victory on their behalf. Perhaps it would be good to remember that just as God cared for His ancient people, He cares for us today! David, the Shepherd King of Israel once declared -- "This I know, that God is FOR me." Psalm 56:9 Moses and the Israelites sang a song to the Lord (Yahweh). With profound relief, joy, and gratitude, they lifted their voices in praise to God for His mighty redemptive act. It probably is the oldest written record of the exodus event. The singers addressed their hymn to the Lord—Yahweh, Who had kept His promise to free them from slavery (see Ex. 6:6). The song was about Him, not them. “For He is highly exalted” can be translated “for He has triumphed gloriously.”
The Hebrew term rendered exalted means “has risen up” (as a wave, the swelling of the sea) and projects a majestic image. The Red Sea’s sweeping over Pharaoh’s forces demonstrated Yahweh’s majestic sovereignty. Verses 2-3 constitute a statement concerning God’s nature. The singers celebrated the Lord (Yah, a shortened form of Yahweh) as the Source of their strength (might) and as their song—either the reason for or the subject of their song. He had become their salvation. Here the term salvation specifies liberation in a political or military sense. It comes from a word that means “to make wide or spacious.” The term the singers used presents the idea of victory God had gained. *The Israelites enjoyed freedom or ease because of God’s work on their behalf. He had acted for their welfare and safety. This mighty Deliverer was the people’s God, the God the patriarchs worshiped. The Hebrew words for God reflect His strength or power (see 6:3). The sovereign God also was the covenant, redeemer God. The singers depicted God as a mighty warrior Who wielded His power to vanquish His enemies. They affirmed that through the exodus, their covenant God had given clear evidence of His sovereign might. God keeps every promise He makes. His consistency in doing so gives us strength and encouragement. It provides confidence as we face the future. Our proper response to His keeping His word is continuing praise.Focal Passages: Yahweh Promises Exodus 6:2-8 Yahweh Keeps His Promises Exodus 15:1-3 Yahweh Stands Alone Exodus 15:11-13Exodus 15:11-1311 “Lord, who is like You among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?12 You stretched out Your right hand, and the earth swallowed them.13 You will lead the people
You have redeemed with Your faithful love; You will guide them to Your holy dwelling with Your strength.” Exodus 15:11-13 In verses 4-10, in picturesque, poetic language, the joyful song of praise to Yahweh chronicled the destruction of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea. Throughout the hymn, the focus is on Yahweh and His redemptive action. Verse 11 contains two rhetorical questions (“Who is like You … ?”) whose expected answers are “No one!” No one among the gods was like Yahweh. He was in a class by Himself, with no peers.1 Kings 8:23 NIV23“O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth below—You Who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continuewholeheartedly in Your way.” 1 Kings 8:23 NIV The Israelites did not acknowledge other gods’ existence; other nations’ so- called gods were fictional. Yahweh alone is the true, living God; all other proposed gods were false. Only Yahweh is glorious in holiness. The Hebrew term rendered glorious means great, high, noble. It conveys the sense of unparalleled exaltation. The word holiness has the idea of God’s separateness, His being other than human. He was to be approached with reverential caution and praises (recognition of His awe-inspiring deeds), for He had performed wonders (extraordinary acts). Yahweh stretched out His right hand (exerted His might), and the Egyptians perished. The singers used human terms to describe God’s redeeming act for them. Because most people were right-handed and used that hand for weapons, the phrase right hand signified strength and victory.
Hebrews 1:3 NIV3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of Hisbeing, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After He had provided purification forsins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3 NIV Seated at Gods Right Hand - has less to do with seating arrangement and everything to do with authority. “My right hand man" comes from this concept because if you are at someones "right hand", you are working under the authority of the one you represent. We know from many verses in the New Testament that Christ is now seated at the right hand of God.Romans 8:3434“Christ Jesus is the One Who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at theright hand of God and intercedes for us.” Romans 8:34Ephesians 1:2020 “He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead andseating Him at His right hand in the heavens” Ephesians 1:20 Once this concept is established, take a walk through the Old Testament and find the verses that mention Gods right hand. We know Christ was with God before His First Advent on earth. Therefore, Christ was always at Gods right hand. Since this is the case, many many verses of the OT open up to a new understanding. The book of Psalms is amazingly prophetic!Psalm 20:66 “Now I know that the Lord gives victory to His anointed; He will answer him from Hisholy heaven with mighty victories from His right hand.” Psalm 20:6 Who saves mankind? Christ! Whos the saving might of Gods right hand? Christ!Psalm 60:55 “Save with Your right hand, and answer me, so that those You love may berescued.” Psalm 60:5
Salvation is through Christ alone, as there is no other name under Heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved!Psalm 80:1717 “Let Your hand be with the Man at Your right hand, with the Son of Man You havemade strong for Yourself.” Psalm 80:17Psalm 110:11 This is the declaration of the Lord (Yahweh – God) to my Lord (Yeshua): “Sit at Myright hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Psalm 110:1Ephesians 1:33 “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in Christ withevery spiritual blessing in the heavens” Ephesians 1:3Ephesians 2:66 “Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,” Ephesians 2:6Revelation 3:20-2120 “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens thedoor, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.21 The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won thevictory and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:20-21 This one verse is revolutionary in understanding our FULL INHERITANCE in Christ. We have established that Christ sat down at the right hand of God. This means He has all the authority of God. Christ grants His Church to sit at His right hand, thus giving the Church all the authority of Christ! This is amazing. Astounding! Something every Christian needs to understand. Were not just purchased out of Hell, but given a glorious seat in the heavenlies, right next to Christ, Who is right next to the Father. Not even the angels can boast of that! When we accept Him, we become like Him.
Not "gods", but sons of God, and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). God exercised His awesome power to free His people. The words the earth swallowed them could refer to the Red Sea’s rolling over the Egyptians or to their entering Sheol, the place of the departed dead. The Israelites expressed their confidence that Yahweh, Who had freed them from slavery, would continue to lead them with His faithful love. The Hebrew term rendered faithful love almost eludes translation. It conveys the sense of God’s covenant loyalty, His unfailing constancy in His relationship with the Israelites. It has been rendered “lovingkindness,” “steadfast love,” and “mercy.” It is the closest OT equivalent to the NT term grace. Coupled with Yahweh’s constant love would be His sovereign power (strength), which would guide them to His holy dwelling. One view is that the phrase holy dwelling refers to the future Jerusalem sanctuary. The reference could also be to Canaan. The Hebrew term rendered dwelling means “meadow” or “pasture” and then poetically “home.” Thus the whole land of Canaan, the land God had promised the Israelites, was the place set apart for God’s residing in the midst of His people. They had begun their journey to their home. Verses 14-17 of the Israelites’ song rehearses how God “will … plant” His people in the land. In Hebrew, verses 14-16 can read as presenting the journey through the wilderness as already accomplished, and verse 17 pictures the fulfillment of God’s purpose: to bring His people to Canaan and establish them there, perhaps with specific reference to Jerusalem. Some interpreters have suggested references to Mount Zion and Solomon’s temple, while others have opted for the more general reference to the Israelites’ settling in the whole land of Canaan. Moses and the Israelites’ song concluded with a resounding affirmation of God’s absolute rule. “The Lord” (Yahweh) would reign as King “forever and ever” (v. 18). Implied was the Israelites’ submission to His authority. They did not always live up to their covenant obligation to be God’s loyal subjects, but they began with a recognition of His kingship. Verse 19 is a narrative account reemphasizing God’s making a way through the sea for the Israelites.
In response to His redemptive act, Miriam, “Aaron’s sister” and a “prophetess,” led the women as they played tambourines and she sang a song exalting God for His victory over Pharaoh’s forces (vv. 20-21). Miriam’s song reflects the words Moses and the people sang in verse 1. In ancient times, women often went out to greet returning victorious warriors, singing and rejoicing in triumph. Here the action likely was spontaneous, and the song celebrated God’s victory. In the hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” the writer began stanza one by addressing God in wonder, then he reflected on God’s creative power and His displays of that power in the universe. When the writer did so, he exulted into song much as the Israelites did. Then he repeated the words for emphasis. We celebrate God’s greatness as our Lord and our God—and the One Who has provided our salvation. The Bible makes clear that God is God alone. He is the only One we should worship. Other religions’ claims need not intimidate us. The Christian faith’s exclusivity means we do not accept the idea of other gods, but we respect others’ right to hold differing views. Praise God as the One Who stands alone, like whom there is no other. If God has answered a promise to you, incorporate that into your praise.Biblical Truths God has made Himself known as the sovereign, covenant-making, covenant- keeping God. God’s promises demonstrate that He wants to be involved in our lives. God always keeps His promises, and His doing so gives us encouragement and strength. Because God is God alone, He is the only One we should worship. The one true God extends His lovingkindness, His mercy, to us.