“What is your name?”
That’s the question Moses asked God when God told Moses that he was to go to Pharaoh and demand that he let the people of God go free:
“Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Ex. 3:13).
Up to this point in the Old Testament, we’ve seen the significance of names. God had already changed the names of Abram, Sarai, and Jacob after encounters with Him. When they encountered God, the fabric of their identities was altered and God signified this change by changing their name. And that’s what Moses was really asking.
In the Old Testament, a name was much more than the means by which you could address someone. A name was a description of a person’s character. Moses was asking God, “Who are you really? And who are you to tell me to go to Pharaoh and make such a demand?”
The Lord answered with his name: Yahweh.
There was good reason for Moses’ question. Though the Israelites were already familiar with the name Yahweh (Gen. 12:8; 26:25; 28:13), they had been enslaved for centuries without any word from this God.
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Dear friends, are you prepared to meet the Lord of glory? Are you prepared to leave this life today and be in the presence of Christ? How can a man be reconciled to God? Repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be reconciled to God through Him and be saved!
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him…Matthew 25:6
Shortly after I was married and before I had children, I came up with a brilliant idea to solve the logistical challenges of owning just one car and not being able to afford a second car: I would buy a motorcycle. For three months in 2009 my wife and I saved money on gas, insurance, car payments, etc. as I commuted to work, cruised around town, and all around enjoyed my ability to go from 0-60 as fast as I could twist a throttle.
One Saturday afternoon I was riding a distance behind a two cars. We were travelling about 65 mph on a country road. I was enjoying the speed and beauty of the day. I remember how peaceful and relaxing the Georgia farmland seemed, how great our God is for making such a beautiful creation. I remember thinking how fun it would be to have my wife ride the motorcycle with me and someday perhaps my children would even ride on the back.
Faster than I can remember my thoughts completely changed. The car two vehicles ahead of me abruptly slammed on its breaks and made a hard left turn. The vehicle immediately in front of me was squealing to a stop in order not to hit the first car. My motorcycle didn’t make any noise. My brakes locked as I squeezed them with everything I was worth. My last memory was that I was going to crash a motorcycle at 65 mph. No further thoughts came to my mind until I woke up looking up at the sky with a dozen people looking down on me telling me not to move.
By Seth Lewis — 1 year ago
Proximity is more important than size. It is more important than magnificence. You don’t have to be the biggest and shiniest in the universe to bring warmth and light to the people around you. You can be completely average, like our sun, and do the job quite well. You’ve just got to be close.
All night long we can see the stars shining down on us, but have you ever considered the fact that they also shine down on us all day? It’s not like they adjust the brightness of their burning to our sleep cycles. They shine on, always the same, always contributing something to our light. The big difference for us is just that one local star who comes around every morning and shines so brightly that the light of all the other billions of stars in the universe can’t compete at all.
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By David Chambers — 1 year ago
The ongoing effects of the Fall are devastating. But when people curse and deny God they are lashing out at the One who sustains them, preserves them, and stays His wrath against them.
There are a few verses that show our need for Christ more than Genesis 6:5, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” We know where the story goes from here, God destroyed the world with a flood and He saved Noah, his family, and humanity from utter destruction. God made a covenant with Noah that He would never again destroy the earth and all who lived on it (Gen 8:20-22). And since the reason He destroyed the world was humanity’s unabated wickedness, He instituted three guardrails to hold back human depravity following the Flood. These three protective acts are not about the special redemption God has for His people, rather they are related to His common grace that prevents humanity from being as universally wicked as the Genesis 6:5 generation. God’s threefold preservation of humanity is that He reduced lifespans, restrained creation, and regulated justice.
He Reduced Lifespans
Before the flood, God decreed He would limit human life expectancy. He proclaimed that “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years” (Gen 6:3). We know that this didn’t take place immediately because Noah lived to 950 and 350 of those years were post-Flood (Gen 9:28-29). But, when we get to the list of Shem’s descendants (Gen 11:10-26) we see a downward trend in lifespan. Shem lived 600 years, his son lived 500 years, and so on to Abraham’s father, Terah, who lived to be 205. The average lifespan today hovers around 73 years.
There is a short narrative at the end of Cain’s family tree in Genesis 4 that shows why God limited the lifespan of humanity, “Lamech said to his wives, ‘Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold” (Gen 4:23-24). Essentially, Lamech is bragging about killing a young man for insulting him. Lamech was powerful, established, and had likely lived a long life by this point. He grew so wicked that he bragged about murdering a young man (possibly even a child). Someone doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to murder someone and then brag about it. No, this type of evil is built over years of rejecting the Lord and reveling in sin. God limited our lifespan to give our evil nature less time to percolate.
It’s telling of human nature that one of the most effective ways God has hedged our evil is by making it so we die at a younger age. The longer sinners live, the more sinful they become. Living a long life of rebellion leads to worse forms of rebellion. When people were living for hundreds of years they didn’t become wiser, better, or less likely to commit sin, they became wicked beyond comprehension. They earned the Flood over long, wicked, lives. And without this divine intervention, we would too.
A shortened life is an extreme mercy for wicked people. By limiting our lifespan He gave us less time to grow in our sin. God promised He would never again destroy the world as He did because humanity would never have the individual ability, or time, to grow as wicked as our longlived forefathers. God preserved humanity by limiting how long humans live because apart from Christ we only get worse with age.