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Only the Holy Spirit that can lead and inspire the direction that we are to take in fulfilling God's specific will. Romans "The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought : but the Spirit [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And He [the Father] that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Among The Lilies

Ephesians "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. The prayer was Prayer That Demonstrated Faith, but wasn't ever inspired by the Spirit according to God's specific will. Therefore, He didn't answer it. Prayer That Demonstrates Faith by the mere task of asking is praying in hope.

Hope yields anticipation, but does not secure the answer. But even though this kind of prayer can't bring forth the answer you seek, Prayer That Demonstrates Faith by the mere task of asking glorifies God because it seeks God as the Giver and is in obedience to the command Every prayer ought to be prayed in Faith. When we pray, we are commanded to believe God and to take Him at His Word. We have no right to doubt God. John "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit , and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you.

Philippians "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. You can "feel" you prayed in Faith, and you ought to believe you did. However, you won't know it by sight until the "substance" and "evidence" Hebrews of Faith, which isn't visible at first, becomes visible at the arriving of the answer.

Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. It is always the LORD's general will to heal. Paul prayed as he ought to have. Paul believed as he ought to have. But since the Holy Spirit knew God's specific will in this particular matter, He did not excite securing Faith in Paul.

This is an excellent example of how a Faithful Servant couldn't pray the "Prayer of Faith" , but instead prayed Prayer That Demonstrates Faith in the mere asking. Faith: Quantity Or Quality? There can be a great deal of confusion on this point, because we often think of Faith in terms of quantity, when instead we should think of quality. While it does take Faith to begin to pray at all, the "Prayer of Faith" needs a higher degree of quality to persevere until the answer comes.

It takes a better grade of Faith to persevere in prayer than to just begin praying. The smallest of all seeds can accomplish the impossible. God isn't unfair in His dealings with men. The LORD gives "The Measure of Faith" to all men, therefore, no one has a reason to boast because no one has an unfair advantage in their "walk by Faith" 2Corinthians There are no levels in amount or quantity.

If you have ANY "Measure of Faith" , even if "The Measure of Faith" is "as a grain of mustard seed" , then you have enough "Measure" in life to accomplish anything-- even moving mountains. Matthew " 19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

Quality of Faith is another matter.

Romans " 19 And being not weak in Faith , he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb. The way you use Faith, the areas of life in which you apply Faith, the advantage you take in the opportunities the LORD lays before you-- these are the means by which Faith grows strong. Do you seek reliance upon God only, and trust Him even when the situation gives you other options?

This not only pleases Him, for "without Faith it is impossible to please Him" Hebrews , but this exercise of Faith causes you to trust God more. Faith is like a mustard seed. It grows in strength and might, in glory and perfection. Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. The first two references of "little Faith" in Matthew and Luke are parallel passages. Matthew " 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the One, and love the other; or else he will hold to the One, and despise the other.

Is not the life MORE than meat, and the body than raiment? Are ye not much better than they? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Hasn't the Father earned perfect Faith, of the highest quality and degree of intensity? To fall short of that is to trust "too little", or have "little Faith". The third passage of "little Faith" is in Matthew: Matthew " 23 And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. High quality Faith "will trust in Thee".

The fourth passage of "little Faith" : Matthew " 5 And when His disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. But instead of seeing the broader picture of Faith, the disciples, in their "little Faith" could only misunderstand Him. They forgot His past demonstrations of miraculous supply. How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? The last passage, still in the Book of Matthew: Matthew " 25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Jesus calmed their fears by identifying Himself. Peter was beginning to demonstrate Faith in this identifying process by saying, "LORD, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water. He trusted "too little", and his "little Faith" turned into "doubt" as he took his eyes off the Author of Faith Hebrews and placed them instead on the object of defeat.

Peter wavered from Faith, changing his ultimate purpose-- "he was afraid" Matthew -- but, quickly returned to his condition of "little Faith" , when he cried, "LORD, save me" But remember, "little Faith" means to fall short in quality of trust, or to trust "too little", which can dangerously lead to sin. Faith Versus Doubt hen a Christian, who is to "walk by Faith" 2Corinthians , finds himself about to do something morally questionable, and proceeds against his conscience, without clearing the matter by determining, "what saith the Scripture?

Suppose Moses could have had the spirits of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appear to him in Horeb, and assure him that the God of the burning bush was the God who had dealt with them in the days of their flesh; would not this have Been reckoned a most confirming and exhilarating testimony? And we, practically, have a testimony of this sort. We read of Jesus regarding God as his Father, habitually and in the most appropriating way. We have his actual experience for our comfort, our inspiration, and our guide. If an Israelite was asked what God he believed, tried to serve, and had his.

Orr I. This is now, thanks to the Bible, made as certain to us as any truth can be. God's sympathy may be viewed - 1. As implied in his moral perfection. As certified to us by the pity of our own hearts. He who put pity in these hearts must surely himself be pitiful. Yet, so much is there in the world which bears a different aspect, that - 3.

It needs revelation to assure us of it - to put the fact beyond all doubt. And the revelation has been given. No student of God's character in the Bible can doubt that he compassionates. And, whatever mystery surrounds God's ways at present, he will one day make it plain by exacting a terrible retribution for all wrongs done to the defence-less Psalm ; James Comfort for the oppressed.

Not one of their sighs escapes the ear of God. Warning to the oppressor. Israel was God's people - 1. A s Abraham's seed - children of the covenant - far gone indeed from righteousness, yet beloved for the fathers' sake Romans As retaining , in however corrupt a form , the worship of the true God. They were his people, in a sense in which the worshippers of Osiris, and Thoth, and the other gods of Egypt, were not. As containing many true believers. There was a-spiritual Israel within the natural - an "holy seed" Isaiah - "a remnant, according to the election of grace" Romans Therefore, because Israel was God's people, God was deeply interested in them.

He knew their sorrows. He was zealous on their behalf, as One whose own honour was concerned in what they suffered. And as in all their affliction he was afflicted Isaiah , so when the time came, he would avenge them of their adversaries. Believers have the same consolation in enduring trial 2 Thessalonians As he interposed for Israel - as he has often interposed for his Church since - as he interposed for the salvation of the world, when, moved by our pitiable state under sin - afflicted and "oppressed of the devil" Acts ; Acts ; Ephesians ; Colossians - he sent his Son that "we should not perish, but have everlasting life' John His sympathy with his Church is shown, not only in the comforts he imparts, and the grace by which he upholds, but in the deliverances he sends; on which remark - 1.

God has his own times for them. Till the time comes, his people must be content to wait. When it comes, no power can hinder the execution of his purpose. The deliverance will bring with it compensation for all that has been endured - "a good land," etc. The ultimate compensation, when God has brought his people up out of the Egypt of all their afflictions, and planted them in the land of perfected bliss, will be such as to clear his character from all imputations of injustice and unkindness.

It is a need carefully observed by God and well known to him. This has been recorded already, although hardly so emphatically, in Exodus It is one thing to have intelligence of God's interest communicated by some third person; quite another to hear the words of pity warm and tender from God himself. Moses and many of the Israelites may have thought that they knew the need only too well, bitter as their experiences had been; but, with all their experiences, they knew not that need as God knew it, looking down from heaven, seeing all things with his searching eye, and having a correct and complete knowledge of them.

It is with great force that God represents himself seeing as well as hearing. Hearing indicated that he noted the representation of their troubles and needs which the people themselves made; seeing indicated the investigation he made for himself. God was not dependent upon the complaints of the people for his knowledge of their troubles.

The cries of men are not always worthy of pity, any more than the cry of a spoilt child. Such cries can only be left unheeded, with the hope that they may end in wisdom and submission. But the cry of Israel was the cry of the oppressed, the cry of God's people; and, as God saw their state, there was ample evidence of the oppression and the cruelty. When he came down to meet Moses at Horeb, he needed not to listen to a long account of Israel's troubles; he came not in order that he might inquire, but because of what he already fully knew.

God may be long unmanifested, but, when he appears, it is with indubitable proofs of his presence; he may be long silent, but when he speaks, it is with statements and promises worthy of himself. He does not merely utter an expression of sympathy with suffering Israel; that expression is only the starting word of a large undertaking for the future.

He repeats, emphatically, the essence of all he had ever said to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob concerning their posterity. He has distinctly in view, not only the removal of a burden, but a future of liberty, independence, and blessedness. Thus it became manifest that the deliverance had not come earlier in time because the matter of deliverance was not the only thing in question. It had to be considered how liberty should be used when acquired. Israel needed a leader, and the leaders whom God approves are not made in a day. Israel had to wait while Moses went through his eighty years of varied discipline, Then, moreover, the people were going into a good land and a large, a land flowing with milk and honey, a land of rich pastures and great fertility, a land inhabited by six strong and warlike nations; and therefore they must not go as a handful of people.

Thus, while the people were going through these great afflictions, groaning as if in despair, God was doing two things of the greatest moment. He was training Moses and increasing Israel in numbers. What a lesson to us in the midst of our afflictions, with all their consequent murmuring and unbelief! If God seemed to have little to do with Israel during these years of oppression, it was that he might have all the more to do with them, manifestly, in the years to come.

Little did either Moses or Israel dream how closely God would keep to them in the future. By the word of God to him here, the thoughts of Moses were brought as at one bound from the darkness of midnight to the blaze of noonday. God does not confine himself to telling Moses that he will deliver Israel. Deliverance for its own sake was as nothing; it was for the sake of what lay beyond it. He does not say that he will deliver, and wait till the time of deliverance comes, to speak of the glories and blessings of Canaan. All these things had been spoken of generations before.

God was but taking, as it were, out of some muniment-room, his old plan, first shown to Abraham; unfolding it, and showing also to Moses that it still remained in all its integrity. Insufficiency Exodus J. Orr A very different Moses this from the hero who was formerly so ready, even without a call, to undertake the work of Israel's deliverance. Probably failure in that first attempt led him to doubt whether he was the instrument ordained for so great a task. He may have concluded he was not, and learned his first lesson of acquiescence in the Divine will, by surrendering the hope.

Or, he may have thought himself rejected for his fault. In any case, Moses had now much juster views of the magnitude of the work, and of his natural unfitness to undertake it. Who was he - a man of lonely, self-retired spirit - that he should brave the power of the Pharaohs, or think of bringing Israel out of Egypt? Learn - 1. Conscious unfitness for our work is one of the best preparations for it , The greatest of God's servants have had this feeling in a remarkable degree. They needed to be "thrust forth" to the harvest Matthew , Or. Conscious unfitness for work grows with the clearness of our apprehensions of the Divine call to it.

The nearer we are brought to God, the less we feel fit to serve him Isaiah God's call and promise are sufficient reasons for undertaking any work , however deep our consciousness of personal unfitness.

The sign in ver. Young Divine promises are not long kept separated from human duty. Scarcely has God presented to Moses this welcome, almost dazzling prospect for Israel, when there breaks upon his ear an announcement of his own connection with it, and that in the most trying and responsible position. That he was to have some sort of connection with the liberation of Israel Was just what he might expect.

God assuredly had not chosen to visit him so far from Egypt, and in that solitary place, simply to give him the good news and leave him there. And now a duty indeed is laid upon him, the duty of duties; he who has not been near Israel for forty years is to be the chief agent in their deliverance. Observe - 1. The point on which Moses expresses no doubt. He says no word of doubt as to the possibility of Israel being delivered from Egypt.

The achievement is from the human point of view a great one, and how it is to be managed he has not yet the slightest clue, but he does not doubt that it will be managed. He might have asked, "How can a thing so great as this be done, and the thraldom of generations utterly cast off? For whether is easier, to preserve a bush amid the fierce flames, or to deliver a nation from bondage? The power that can do the one can do the other. The point on which he is full of doubt. His mind is turned at once to his own qualifications. And what wonder? It was a great leap from being a shepherd in the wilderness to being an ambassador to.

The fact that Moses questioned his personal ability and personal worthiness is, though it may not at first appear so, a great indication of his very fitness for the post. He did not jump at the chance of distinction. He had a remembrance of his bad odour in Egypt.

Dallas Willard - Hearing God (3/6) - Experiences of "Hearing God"

He had lived, too, at court, and knew how hard it is to get at kings. We can hardly call this doubt of Moses blameworthy, for he was spoken to as a sinful man, and God did not expect from him at this first opening of the interview a response such as could only come fittingly from an angel, ready at once to fly on any errand of the Almighty. A Gabriel would not have said, "who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?

But Moses was deeply conscious of his own faults. Indeed, if he had not been, God would not have chosen him. Men of a different sort, self-complacent and self-confident, were the last God would have looked to in such circumstances. The men he wants are such as feel keenly all natural defects - sensitive, may be, to criticism and harsh words of every kind; men, too, who for their own inclination, love the quiet and shady nooks of existence, and do not care to leave them, save under the pressure of some manifest public claim or some persistent voice of God to the tender conscience within.

Such men are generally called, upon their first emergence into public, presumptuous, meddlesome, and fanatical; and they have to lay their account with these hard names. They are apt to meet with a great deal of gratuitous counsel, given on the grounds of what is called common sense. Moses well knew the difficulties that would come in his way. The one thing he had yet to learn was that God knew him far better than he did himself. There is no word of rebuke in any way, but immediate and abundant encouragement.

The emphatic assurance of God's presence and companionship. The "I" of Moses is met by the "I" of God. Moses was to go to Pharaoh strong in the consciousness that the God who sent him was also with him. There would not be about him anything that ambassadors usually had - rich personal adornments, pomp of attendance, great profusion of presents, distinguished earthly rank.

But the absence of these things only makes more manifest the presence and dignity of the invisible God. The less of earth was seen, the more of heaven; the less of man, the more of God. If God be for us, who can be against us? If God be with us, what need we care who forsake us?

Because Moses felt his own deficiencies, compared with the greatness of the work before him, God gave him this promise, and the fulfilment of it gave both needed and sufficient strength during all his conflict with Pharaoh. What about our relation to Christ's promise, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world?

We must know the burdens and the bonds, the smitings and the contumely, the sighing and the crying, of spiritual Egypt, before we can appreciate the necessity and graciousness of Christ's parting promise to his people. God adds something even more noticeable than the promise of his presence. We do not say it is more important, but it is certainly more noticeable.

He makes an intimation of a very helpful token to be exhibited in the future. Moses needed no more tokens of God's power at present; he had a sufficient token in the burning bush. If this had failed to impress him, neither could he have been persuaded by any additional wonder. But God gave to Moses a word which would keep in his mind the prospect and hope of a great sign in the time to come. What a thought to take with him through all the dismal succession of the plagues, through all the steady progress towards deliverance - that somehow or other God would bring the large host of Israel in this very mountain; to this lonely place where few people lived, because few could live!

Moses would need a token by-and-bye even more than he bad needed one now. His greatest difficulties were to be, not with Pharaoh, but with Israel; not in getting them out of Egypt, but in leading them onward to Canaan. Some difficulties doubtless he would expect, but all the stubbornness, waywardness and carnality of Israel he did not yet foresee. So the Apostle found his greatest difficulties and sorrows, not from those who stoned him at Lystra, imprisoned him at Philippi, and conspired against him at Jerusalem; but from the fornicators, the litigious, the schismatical, the deniers of the resurrection at Corinth; from the pliable yielders to Jewish bigotry, in Galatia; in short, from.

He was forty years ahead of them already. The creature comforts of Egypt, for which Israel lusted so in the wilderness, were no temptation to him, seeing he had become used to the wilderness. And so, when he came again to Horeb, with all this vast host in his charge, it was to rejoice in the strength that came from a fulfilled promise of God.

Not only will God bring Israel to this mountain, but when they reach it, it will be to serve him. He says very little; only, "Ye shall serve God," but that little would be enough to set Moses thinking.

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And yet, with, all his anticipations, they must have fallen far short of the reality. One small word from the lips of God has behind it a fulness of meaning far beyond present thoughts. We learn, by the time we come to the end of this book, that serving God meant gathering in solemn and timid awe around the smoking mount; meant for Moses himself forty days and nights of retirement with Jehovah; meant the construction of the Tabernacle with all its holy contents according to the pattern shown in the mount.

What a difference in the knowledge, the obligations, and the outlook of the Israelites when they left Sinai! And if the word "service," looked at in the light of past experience, was a word of meaning so large with respect to them, is it not incumbent on us to do all we can for ourselves to fill the great terms of the Christian dispensation with the fulness of their meaning? Faith - atonement - the blood of Christ - regeneration - love - holiness - heaven: let these words represent to our minds an ever-growing, a devout and correct experience of the great body of the truth as it is in Jesus.

Urquhart 1. Moses knew the pomp and pride of the Egyptian court. He remembered how Israel had rejected him when he was more than he was now. Once he had believed himself able for the task, but he was wiser now: "Who am I? He might serve God in the lowly place he held, but not there. Moses in this the type of multitudes. God's call for service is met on every hand by the cry, "Who am I that I should go? How God meets this sense of weakness. It was not Moses only that should go, but God also. The conviction that he is with us, and that we speak for him, makes the meekest bold, the weakest strong.

He is armed with faith and hope. From self let us look to God and his pledged word. His own thought of God was dim. How then could he carry conviction to the hearts of the people? The same lack of clear, living thought of God keeps tongues tied to-day. How it may be removed. He had revealed himself to their fathers: he was all this still. It was his memorial for ever. Grasping this thought, all the past is God's revelation. We must make men apprehend the revelation which God has given of himself in the past, and proclaim him as the God of to-day.

I have surely visited you, and I will bring you up out of the affliction. The Second Difficulty Exodus D. Young Moses feels that when he goes among his brethren, one of their first questions will be as to the name of this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Consider - I. All the deities of the other nations had names, and doubtless the gods of Egypt were well known by name to the Israelites.

Part of the glory of each nation came from the fact that it was under the protection and favour of so renowned a being as its God. The feeling of Moses in asking this question may be illustrated from the clamour of the Ephesian mob against Paul. The Ephesians felt that it was a great deal to be able to say that Diana had a special interest in them.

And so it seemed to Moses a reversal of the proper order of things to go to his brethren with no more indication of the Being who had sent him, than that he had been historically connected with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moses could not believe that his own people would rest contented with such a representation as this; indeed, we may very reasonably go further, and assume that he himself was anxious to know the name of this unnamed God. He was not yet filled with the light and power of the pure monotheistic conception. Certainly he had just felt what real might there was with the God of his fathers, and probably there was no shadow of doubt in his mind that this God was powerful far beyond any of the rest; but he had yet to learn that he was God alone, and that all other deities, however imposing, were nothing more than the fictions of degraded and wayward imagination.

When we bear in mind that Moses was only at the beginning of his personal acquaintance with God, then we shall see that there was nothing wonderful or unreasonable, from the point of his attainments at the time, in asking such a question. Observe also that the very question is a revelation of how ignorant the Israelites were of God.

How clear the proof is that the thought of God, as Jehovah, came down from above, and did not rise out of the corrupted hearts of men. When we have much to do with persons, it is a matter of necessity to have names for them, and if they give us none, we must make them for ourselves. But the Israelites had no transactions with God, save as he came down and pressed his presence upon them; and even then all that they could see was such power as became manifest to the senses. It is very certain that if God had not revealed this name, there was no faculty among the Israelites to invent it.

We must bear in mind the purpose for which the name was given. The question at once suggests itself - Would God have given this name, if he had not been asked? To this perhaps the best answer is that the difficulty out of which the question rose was sure to be felt, even if the question itself was not asked. Some name of the kind assuredly became needed for distinguishing purposes. It was a name as helpful to the people of idolatrous nations as to Israel itself. The wisdom of God is certainly evident in giving a name which, while it so well served a temporary purpose, remains still to suggest matters which no lapse of time can ever render indifferent.

It is vain to discuss the form of the expression, with the aim of tying it down to mean some particular aspect of the Divine nature, to the exclusion of others. Far better is it for Christians to take it - and thus, surely, devout Israelites would take it - as suggesting all that it is fitted to suggest.

There is the name; some will put into it more, and some less, but no one can pretend that he has filled it with the fulness of its import. It would be very helpful for the Israelites always to bear in mind the occurrence of the first person in this great distinguishing name. He who says "I am" thus registers in Holy Writ an expression which will have meaning and suggestiveness in every language under heaven.

What an intimation is given to us of the permanent value of the expression when we come upon it so suddenly in the discussion between Jesus and the Jews! They had spoken haughtily concerning great names in the past - the dead Abraham and the dead prophets; when straightway, as by the breath of his mouth, Jesus shrivels up the glories of all mere mundane history by his declaration, "Before Abraham was, I am. Abraham and all the rest of us have come into existence. But Jesus is one who, even here below, with the knowledge of what happened at Bethlehem, has that in him whereby he can say, "I am.

There is nothing to indicate that the name for which Moses asked was to be mentioned to the Israelites unless they applied for it. The real necessity and value of it belonged to the future rather than the present. The name already given was the name of urgent importance for the present need. It could not for a moment sink into the background even before the name "I am.

Of what avail is it to know that there is an eternal immutable God, unless we, in our mutability, in our melancholy experiences of time, are brought into helpful connection with him? We may ponder over the name Jehovah without coming to any knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but if we only begin by a devout consideration of the narrative concerning these men, then assuredly we shall come at last to a profitable and comforting knowledge of God. There are many good purposes to be served by studying the differences between created and uncreated existence, and by making ourselves acquainted with those subtle speculations concerning the Divine nature which have fascinated and too often tantalised the greatest intellects among men; and yet all these are as nothing unless from our acquaintance with them we advance, still searching and seeking, to a personal knowledge of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is well to have our minds lifted up to lofty conceptions; it is better still, coming to the Father through Christ, to have our hearts nourished, gladdened and consoled. Robjohns This is my name for ever, etc. This incident of the burning bush teems with subjects susceptible of homiletic treatment. We name a few of the more important, which we ourselves do not linger to treat.

Note in vers. For valuable hints on this, see 'Moses the Lawgiver,' by Dr. Taylor of New York, pp. The reluctance of Moses; his four reasons - incompetence, ver. It is in connection with the second disability of Moses that the Deity gives his proper name. Note, that whilst Elohim and other names are generic, this name "Jahveh," or more commonly "Jehovah.

See Isaiah , in Hebrews As a foundation it will be needful to exhibit, in a popular way, the connection between the Hebrew form for "I am" and "Jehovah. The writer of the hymn, "The God of Abraham praise! The fundamental idea in the name is that of "Being," but around that idea plays many a prismatic light, something of which will now be exhibited.

How calm and solemn is this Divine affirmation in the silence of the desert, as in it God protests against being confounded with - 1. Material or intellectual. Over against the teaching of the atheist positivist, pantheist agnostic, polytheist, God places his " I am. Mere phenomena. Who can separate always surely in nature between reality and appearance; or within the realm of mind, between certainty and illusion or delusion?

But behind all phenomena is the Existence - God. The Existence is absolute, without any limit of time; so much so, that many are anxious to translate Jahveh," or "Jehovah," everywhere by "The Eternal" See same idea of God in Revelation In opening out the eternity and consequent immutability of God, we expound it, not metaphysically, but experimentally, that is, in relation to the actual experience of men, who need beyond everything the assurance of an unchanging Saviour and Father to trust, and love, and serve - "the same yesterday, to-day," etc.

Carries, then, in itself, not only the meaning "To be," but "To cause to be. Note this mighty causative force operating - 1. In nature , which is the momentary work of the ever-present God. In creating a people for his praise, as now about to do in the desert of Sinai.


The transcendently sublime egoism, "I am! The simple and perfectly intelligible answer given to these questions by the Jews was, that they could feel towards God in a manner similar to that in which they felt towards other beings whom they considered persons, and that he felt similarly towards them. This meeting of the personality in Moses with the personality in God constituted for Moses a crisis in his history. So is it ever - the confronting of my spirit by the Spirit of God is the supreme moment of existence. The words in ver. What God was to the fathers, that he will be to children's children; not a promise broken or a purpose unfulfilled.

Evidence that "Jahveh," or "Jehovah," is the covenantal name of God is accumulated in abundance in Smith's 'Bib. To the many striking illustrations there, add, that Jesus is equivalent to Joshua - Jehovah that saves. God we may apprehend, never comprehend; touch, as with the finger, never grasp or embrace. Observe generally on the name: 1. It was then new: Exodus Not absolutely new, but practically so. It became sacred. The Jew never pronounced it. This savoured of superstition, and its ill effect is to be seen in the suppression of the name Jehovah, even in our English Bibles, and in the substitution for it of LORD in small capitals.

We will enter into their reverence without showing their superstition. The name is a root-designation in the revelation of God. The name sets forth objective truth. The name gives us a true idea of the Deity. The name should be subjectively cherished. The name by which he would be remembered. The Name Exodus J. Orr The request of Moses to know the name of the Being who had filled him with such unutterable awe ver.

The "name" with us tends to become an arbitrary symbol - a mere vocable. But this is not the true idea of a name. A real name expresses the nature of that to which it is given. It is significant. This idea of the name is the ruling one in scientific nomenclature, where names are not imposed arbitrarily, but are designed to express exactly the essential characteristics of the object or fact of Nature for which a name is sought.

The man of science interrogates Nature - allows it to reveal itself. He stands before his fact, asking - "Tell me, I pray thee, thy name? Hence, as science progresses, old names are superseded by new ones-the former no longer proving adequate to the stage at which knowledge has arrived. This illustrates in some degree the ancient idea of a name, and the desire that was felt at each new stage of revelation for a new name of God.

God's Name is the revelation of his attributes or essence - the disclosure of some part or aspect of the fulness of his Deity. The vocable is valueless in itself - its significance is derived from the fact of revelation of which it is the memorial. To know God's absolute Name - the Name, if one might so speak, wherewith he names himself, would be to wrest from him the secret of his absolute existence. And Jacob was rebuked when, in this sense, he sought to wrest from God his Name Genesis God's revealed Name expresses that of his Nature which is communicable and comprehensible - his attributes in their relations to the intelligence and needs of the creature.

Each of his names is but part of the whole - a ray. The whole Name is given in the completed revelation. An illustration of the extent to which in ancient times name and reality were held to interpenetrate each other is furnished by the practice of conjuration - the name being viewed as so truly a living part of the Being, so bound up with his essence and qualities, that to know it was to obtain a certain power over him. Moses expected that this would be the first question the people would ask him - "What is his Name?

It was natural to expect that a Being announcing himself, would do so by some name, either a name by which he was already known, or a new one given in the revelation. It was probable , in analogy with past history, that the name would be a new one, and would serve - 1 As a memorial of the revelation; 2 As an exponent of its signfificance; 3 As a clue to God's purpose in it; and 4 As a name by which God might suitably be invoked in the new crisis of their nation's history. And 3. It was certain that the people would ask this question, familiarised as they were in Egypt with the practice of invoking the gods by the one or other of their many names which bore particularly on the wants and circumstances of the worshippers.

To Moses, however, this request for the Name had a much deeper significance. It originated, we may believe, in the felt inadequacy of all existing names of God to syllable the deep and powerful impression made on him by this actual contact with the Divine. Jacob at Peniel Genesis God in that hour was nameless to the spirit of Moses - his experience of God went beyond any name he knew for him.

A multitude of ideas crowded on him, and he could not fix or express them. Language thus fails us in moments of extraordinary experience, not always because none of the words we know would suit our purpose, but because language tends to become conventional, and the profounder meaning which lies in words gets rubbed off them. The name which God gave was after all not a new one, but an old name with new life put into it. God grants his servant's request. The name is given first explicatively , - "I am that I am" ver.

The name, as above remarked, while new in this relation, is itself an old one. This is already implied in the expression - "Jehovah God of your fathers" ver.

Exodus 3 Pulpit Commentary Homiletics

He who assumes the name is the " Angel of Jehovah of ver. The Angel - a self-presentation of Jehovah entering into the sphere of the creature, which is one in essence with Jehovah; and is yet again different from him" Oehler. The name was eminently suitable and significant. The ideas awakened in Moses by the revelation he had received would be such as these - God's living Personality; his enduring Existence the same God that spoke to the fathers of old, speaking to him at Horeb ; his covenant-keeping Faithfulness; his Self-identity in will and purpose; his unfailing Power the bush burning unconsumed ; his Mercy and Compassion.

All these ideas are expressed in the name Jehovah, which represents the highest reach of Old Testament revelation. That name denotes God as - 1. Independent of his creatures. Self-revealing and gracious. Hence - 1. Changeless in his purpose. Faithful to his promises. Able to fulfil them. Certain to do so.

The Two Messages Exodus J. Moses was to go first to the elders of the people. First - before he went to Pharaoh; and first - before communicating with any of the people. This arrangement was - 1. The people's consent must be obtained to their own deliverance. God would have them co-operate with him - 1 Freely. This applies to the higher Redemption. Men cannot be saved without their own consent. We must, in the sense of Philippians , work out our own salvation - must co-operate with God, by freely adopting and falling in with his method of grace. There must be free choice of Christ as our Saviour, free compliance with the directions of the Gospel, free co-operation with the Spirit in the work of our sanctification.

The elders were the representatives of the people. They had a claim to be approached first. They were men of experience, and were better able to judge deliberately of the proposals laid before them. They had exceptional facilities for diffusing information, while communication with them would have the additional advantage of greater privacy. If Moses could satisfy the elders of his Divine commission, and could gain their intelligent consent to his proposals, the consent of the people would readily be forthcoming. So Paul, in going up to Jerusalem, communicated the Gospel he had received "privately to them which were of reputation," - to "James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars" Galatians And it was not till Jesus had been decisively rejected by the authorities in Jerusalem that he commenced a popular ministry in Galilee.

Learn lessons - 1 Of the respect due to constituted authorities. No time was to be lost in carrying to the Israelites the tidings of approaching deliverance. The message brought to them was a true gospel. Mark its nature. It told how God had seen their affliction, and had visited them, and would redeem them from bondage.

This gives no sanction to Ewald's theory, that the Exodus had its origin in a powerful movement in the nation itself - "the most extraordinary exertions, and most noble activities of the spirit wrestling for freedom. The two views well illustrate the two ways of conceiving the possibility of man's deliverance from the woes that oppress him.

The one - the humanitarian - trusts to recuperative powers inherent in the race, to its own "extraordinary exertions" and noble spiritual activities - and predicts for it a glorious future wrought out by its own efforts. The other - the Christian - has no such hope. It views the race as lying in a state of moral and spiritual helplessness, and recognises the necessity of a salvation coming to it from without. Moses, with the elders, was to go to Pharaoh, and demand of him that the Hebrews be allowed to take a three days' journey into the wilderness, there to sacrifice to Jehovah.

Note on this request - 1. Its honesty. The ultimate design was to lead Israel out of Egypt altogether. If this first request was studiously made moderate, it was not with the intention of deceiving Pharaoh, but that it might be the easier for him to grant it. The demand was made in perfectly good faith.

What was asked sufficed to test the king's disposition. Had Pharaoh yielded, no advantage would have been taken of his compliance to effect a dishonourable escape from Egypt. New announcements would doubtless have been made to him, rewarding him as amply for obedience to this first word of God as afterwards he was punished for disobedience to it, and informing him further of the Divine intentions.

Its incompleteness. For this demand bore on the face of it that it was not the whole. It told Pharaoh his immediate duty, but beyond that left matters in a position requiring further revelation. Whatever was to follow the three days' journey, it was certain that "the God of the Hebrews," who had met with them, would never consent to his worshippers being sent back again to bondage. That Pharaoh must plainly enough have perceived, and Moses made no attempt to dissemble it.

Learn - 1 God's counsels are revealed to men bit by bit. It was foreseen by God ver. Yet - 2. It did not hinder the execution of God's purpose ver. Whether Pharaoh willed or not, the Exodus would take place. If not with his consent, then against it, and "by a mighty hand. The clay cannot escape from the hand of the potter Jeremiah ; Romans If Pharaoh will not be made a vessel unto honour, he will be moulded into a vessel unto dishonour, and made to subserve God's purpose in another way Exodus His disobedience would bring on him wrath and destruction.

The Egyptians would be glad in the end to give the Hebrews whatever they wished. So would they "spoil the Egyptians. And it is the saints of God who shall yet inherit the earth. Learn also that whatever is valuable in the world's learning, science, literature, or art, is not to be despised, but to be freely appropriated by the Church, and used in God's service. Young In this conversation between God and Moses, recorded in chaps, 3.

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Answering these questions, he then goes on to give his own instructions besides. God's instructions to us, for right service, do not depend on our questions. These must be answered, that stumblingblocks may be taken out of the way; but when they are removed, then we must wait and listen, to find out the exact path according to the Divine will.

Thus in the passage before us, God indicates to Moses the really critical part of the great enterprise. The questions of Moses show that it is in Israel, in himself and in his brethren, that Moses looks for the great difficulties. But now God would point out to him that the real struggle is to be in breaking down the proud, despotic resolution of Pharaoh.

There was no occasion for Moses to doubt the concurrence of his own people. Nothing very taxing or trying is yet asked from them. Observe - I. Moses was not left to approach Pharaoh in any way that might seem best to himself. God ordered who the suppliants were to be, and what the exact petition they were to present. The suppliants. They are Moses and the elders of Israel. There is a due, general and dignified representation of the whole people. Moses is to go, not only as the messenger of God, but undeniably as the spokesman of his enslaved brethren.

God assures him that he will win the companionship and support of the older and experienced men among them. It is not to be some hot, rebellious crowd of youths that will seek to break in upon Pharaoh. A representative body, most if not all of them well up in years, and headed by a man of fourscore, are to approach him in a dignified way, respectful to him and respectful to themselves. Those who are the advocates of a righteous cause must not spoil or dishonour it by a rash, provocative and boisterous line of conduct. Pharaoh is to be made conscious that he is dealing with those who have every right and competency to speak.

If he meets them in an angry, unyielding spirit, he will be left with no chance of finding excuse for himself in the spirit in which he has been approached. The petition. The petitioners are to ask for only a small part of what is really required. The request has been called by some a deceptive one.

It is wonderful how quick the worldly mind is, being so full of trickery and deceit itself, to find out deceit in God. If this had been purely the request of Israel, then it would have been deceitful, but it was emphatically God's request, and it served more purposes than one. In the first place, the character of the boon desired indicated to Israel, and especially to these responsible men the elders, what God was expecting from them. He who had told Moses, in direct terms, concerning the service in "this mountain" ver. God has more ways than one of setting our duties before us.

Secondly, the request was a very searching test of Pharaoh himself. It was a test with regard to the spirit and reality of his own religion. If to him religion was a real necessity, a real source of strength, then there was an appeal to whatever might be noble and generous in his heart not to shut out the Hebrews from such blessings as were to be procured in worshipping Jehovah their God, and the request searched Pharaoh's heart in many ways besides.

God well knew beforehand what the result would be, and he chose such an introductory message as would most completely serve his own purposes. These threatened wonders were to start from plain reasons of necessity. We must constantly bear in mind the comprehensiveness of the Divine plans, the certainty with which God discerns beforehand the conduct of men. If we keep this truth before us we shall not be deceived by the shallow talk of would-be ethical purists concerning the deceptions found in Scripture.

We must not argue from ourselves, wandering in a labyrinth of contingencies, to a God who is above them all. Thus God makes luminous another important point in the future.

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That future now stretches before Moses, like a road in the dark, with lamps fixed at certain intervals. Between the lamps there may be much darkness, but they are sufficient to indicate the direction of the path. God had lighted one lamp to assure Moses of a favourable reception by his own people; another to show the kind of treatment which would have to be adopted towards Pharaoh; a third to show the complete success of this treatment; and a fourth shining all the way from Sinai, to make plain that in due course Moses and his liberated brethren would arrive there.

God was quickly adding one thing after another, to increase and assure the faith of his servant, and make him calm, courageous, and self-possessed in the prosecution of a momentous enterprise. Only let Moses be faithful in certain matters that are comparatively little, such as making a prompt return to Egypt, and then delivering his messages, first of all to Israel and afterwards to Pharaoh; and God will take care of all the rest. At the beginning Pharaoh will thunder forth a decided and apparently decisive "No!

And, to make this point clearer still, God gives to Israel the marvellous assurance that Egypt will rush from the one extreme of pitiless extortion to the other of lavish generosity. God would secure to Israel much of its own again, even in the secondary matter of external possessions. The Egyptian wealth that had been gained by oppressing the people would be largely disgorged.

They were not to go out as impoverished fugitives, but as bearing the rich spoils of God's own great battle. Thus does God invite his servant to bear in mind this mighty compelling force. Pharaoh is great and rich and strong, but God is about to do things in the midst of his land which will force him to confess that there is One far greater and far stronger than himself. His mission will be successful. He will win the people's trust for God. They will not refuse to hear. Their elders will accompany him into Pharaoh's presence: his request will become the people's.

The Lord will lead them out laden with the spoils of Egypt. Going on God's errand there is no possibility of failure.