Dave spoke this morning on Exodus 6:9 TNIV: ‘I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.’
Often, we are faced with difficult circumstances which challenge our security and even our faith in God. Illness strikes and despite our earnest prayers no healing is forthcoming, so where is the God who said He was our healer? Financial difficulties arise and we cannot see a way out – where is the God who promised to meet our every need? Our lives, spiritual or otherwise, seem to be at a low ebb and seem to be going nowhere. Where is the God who promised to lead us and guide us? We are suffering depression and we feel awfully alone. Where is the God who promised to never leave us or desert us, who promised us fullness of joy?
At such times we very often wonder where God is, what He is doing, why He doesn’t come to our rescue. This account in Exodus 6 TNIV contains a phrase that keeps appearing which can help us in those times and which holds the key to all our questions. ‘Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’
The ten plagues which God sent on Egypt may seem cruel and harsh to us. They were intended to demonstrate God’s superiority over all the Egyptian gods:
Khuum: the guardian of the Nile and Hapi: the spirit of the Nile
Osiris: the Nile was believed to be the bloodstream of Osiris
Heqt: a frog-like god of resurrection
Hathon: a mother goddess who was a cow
Apis: a bull of the god Ptah, a symbol of fertility
Minevis: also a bull, the sacred bull of Heliopolis
Imhotep: the god of medicine
Nut: the sky goddess
Seth: the protector of crops
Re, Aten, Atum and Horus: all sun gods.
Pharaoh was also said to be divine. In sending these plagues, the Lord was demonstrating the total ineffectiveness of any other god compared to the One and Only God. He could undoubtedly have used other methods, but He waited until the situation looked totally hopeless, and then He moved, in the way that only He could move in order that everyone would know that He was the Lord.
God often works in ways that are hard for us to fathom so that others indeed can know that He is the Lord. We see this in John 9:2-3 TNIV and in 2 Cor 12:7-9 TNIV. These passages reflect the Biblical principle that in everything that the Lord does, He has one overriding priority, that ‘every one shall know I am the Lord your God.’ That is why we very often do not understand what God is doing or what He is not doing. God’s timing and God’s purpose are not related to our conception of what He should do and when He should do it. The whole purpose of God’s dealings with man, indeed the reason that man was created, is to glorify God.
When we find ourselves in those situations where we don’t understand what God is doing or where He is in a situation, we must always remember that God is God and as such He doesn’t owe us any explanation at all. Nonetheless, we have the undeniable assurance that, in all things, God will work for His glory and for our ultimate good.