Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eyes Wide Open

                 The other day, as I was reading in the book of Exodus, I came across a verse that stuck out at me. Moses has fled from Pharaoh, he is now married, and tending the flocks his father-in-law had given to him. Moses is up on the mountain, and meets God through the burning bush. God tells Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh, and Moses begins to explain to the Lord that he is not the right person for the job. But God comforts Moses and gives him the strength he needs to accomplish the task God has set before him. So, Moses takes his brother Aaron with him and they speak to Pharaoh. Pharaoh becomes upset that Moses would even ask such a thing as to let the Hebrew slaves go, so he places more burdens upon the people.
                “So Moses returned to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, why have You brought trouble on this people? Why is it You have sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people; neither have You delivered Your people at all.’” Exodus 5:22-23
                Moses, went to Pharaoh, did what the Lord asked him to, but things just got worse, not better. The people became more burdened, and Pharaoh became more upset with Moses. So Moses begins to ask God why He would allow this to happen. What stuck out at me was the Lord’s reply.
                “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.’ And God spoke to Moses and said to him; “I AM the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I was not known to them.” Exodus 6:1-3
                The Lord tells Moses that He wanted to be known to the Hebrews as LORD. The King James Version says JEHOVAH instead of Lord. God tells Moses that He has been known as the Almighty, the All Powerful God to the children of Israel. But now, He wants them to know Him as JEHOVAH, as Lord- the Existing One. The children of Israel have known God as the God of power and might, but God wants and desires a more intimate relationship with His people. The same is true for us today.
                God desires to reveal Himself to His children, then and now. As we read the bible, as we learn who God is, we begin to understand more and more about Him. As we learn about who He is we begin to draw closer to Him, we begin to establish a relationship with Him. When I first became a Christian, I knew God as Savior, but as I began to read His word, and have a relationship with Him, I began to see more of Him. I began to see Him as my Redeemer, my Deliverer. Each trial taught me more of who God wanted to be in my life.  
                 He wanted the Israelites to know Him not only as God Almighty, but He also wanted them to know Him as Lord, Jehovah- the Existing One. As we grow in our relationships with God, He will show us and reveal to us who He is, and who He desires to be for us. He did not want the Israelites to only know a little about Him, He desired that they know Him, personally, for Who He is and Who He wanted to be in their lives. He wanted to reveal Himself to them completely and fully; just as He does with us.
                God had revealed Himself to one man at a time in the book of Genesis; He had revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Now, God reveals Himself to a nation, a people. It was through trials and tribulations, miracles and plagues that God revealed who He was to not only the Hebrews, but to the Egyptians. God desires to make Himself known to all people, tongues, tribes and nations. He wanted the Israelites to know who He was, and He wanted an intimate relationship with them. Exodus 6:7 tells us that God took them “as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God…” God wanted more than just being known as Powerful, God wanted them to know Him as their Lord, their personal God. He still speaks to each of us that way.
                As we walk this walk with the Lord God, He will use various ways to reveal Himself to us. I have experienced this in my walk over and over. As I have traveled through financial trials, the Lord has revealed Himself to me as Jehovah Jirah- my Provider. As I have traveled through grief and loss, God has revealed Himself to me as my Comforter, my Refuge. Through the years, as trials and burdens have come upon me, God has shown me more of Himself. He draws me closer to Him through these times so that I can be His, and He can be mine.
                We all face trials and troubles, pain and grief, and we all have a burden we are carrying, but the Lord God says to us, “Let me show you who I am through this, and then you will know that I am the Lord Your God, and that you are My child.” None of us like trials, but when we see them as an opportunity to see God more intimately, maybe the trials will be less burdensome and more glorious. Maybe that is what Paul meant when he stated that he gloried in tribulations. (Romans 5:3) Perhaps Paul understood that through the tribulations of life, God would reveal Himself to us in a more intimate way.
                Wherever we are at in our walks today, let us be mindful to open our eyes and look up, for the Lord God, our Jehovah, wants to show Himself to you in a way you have never seen before. With our eyes wide open, may we too see the Lord as He desires to be seen in us. In Jesus Name, Amen.