Monday, February 28, 2011

Exodus 6: God's Progressive Self-Revelation

Ex 6: 2-3 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty,[a] but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them."

God's revelation of himself is progressive. Mankind before the flood knew God as the generic Creator God El or El-ohim (plural of El). Then God came to Abraham as El-Shaddai (God Almighty). The patriarchs knew God therefore as El-Shaddai. But now God reveals to Moses by His covenant name LORD (Yahweh, the I AM). As Israel developed into a nation God revealed himself more & more - as King, as Judge, as husband, as lover, and as Father. But the fullest revelation of God is as His Son. A theologian remarks that Jesus is not like God but God is like Jesus--gracious, loving, tender hearted, humble & self-giving. The reason the Jews would not recognize Jesus as God is because he did not square with their incomplete & imperfect understanding of God through the OT Scriptures. So they crucified Jesus because the God they knew was NOT like Jesus. 

So when we are confused by OT portrayals of God, remember that "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe" (Heb 1:1-2). So if we are confused by the OT images of God, double check our understanding against Jesus the perfect image of God: "The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation" (Col 1:15).

Remember, Jesus is not like God, but God is like Jesus. 

Father, thank You that through Jesus, we have seen Your glory, the revelation of grace & truth. Amen.

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