Moses met God for the first time when he saw a burning bush that was not consumed by the fire. In the first few moments of their encounter Moses learned that the place surrounding the bush was holy. God also revealed Himself to Moses in a unique way.
“I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6
Moses knew who God was referring to because he knew basic Hebrew history. Moses’ father was a Levite named Amram who had married a Levite woman named Jochebed. Moses spent time with his biological parents as a young child before going to live in the palace of the pharaoh’s family. Moses knew he was a Hebrew (Exodus 2:11), so when God said He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses knew what that meant. He was face-to-FACE with the God of Israel.
After God told Moses He was going to send him to Pharaoh, “that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt,” Moses said – “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11) God promised to be with Moses. Then Moses asked God what he should tell the children of Israel when they asked who had sent him. God replied – “I AM WHO I AM.’ And He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Moreover God said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” (Exodus 3:14-15)
We looked at the Names Ehyeh asher ehyeh (I AM WHO I AM) and YHWH in the last study. Today, we look at the meanings of the other four Names God revealed to Moses and what those Names would have meant to him.
God of your fathers – Elohei Avoteinu
God of Abraham – Elohei Avraham
God of Isaac – Elohei Yitschak
God of Jacob – Elohei Ya’akov
Elohei comes from the plural form for El (Elohim) and means “God of.” Moses was talking with the Lord God (YHWH Elohei) of his “fathers” (Avoteinu), which speaks to personal genealogy through the father’s line. God was clear from the beginning of His Personal relationship with Moses that He was the Lord God of Moses’ Avoteinu – not of the Egyptian fathers.
Moses’ lineage was through his father, Amram, who was a Levite. That meant Moses was also a Levite – a member of the Tribe of Levi. Moses was raised in the palace of an Egyptian pharaoh and was named by the pharaoh’s daughter who raised him (Exodus 2:10). Even though Moses grew up surrounded by the many gods of the Egyptian people, those were not his gods. Moses was meeting with his God, Elohei Avoteinu, the God of his fathers. That’s as personal as it gets.
God was also Elohei Avraham, Elohei Yitschak, and Elohei Ya’akov. Moses was speaking to the same God Who spoke to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How amazing that was! Moses had heard stories from his Hebrew family about the three amazing men who God spoke to and promised great things for their children and children’s children. Moses would have understood that meeting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was even greater than just family – this was the great covenant God had made with Abraham, and repeated to Isaac and Jacob. God had promised the Hebrew fathers that He would make of them a great nation and the time had come for Him to do it – through Moses!
God was going to use Moses to bring about freedom for the children of Israel through supernatural deliverance. He was also going to make them wealthy by providing for their needs as a nation on their own.
“And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” Exodus 3:21-22
As we read through the Old Testament we see God’s continual deliverance, protection, and provision for Israel. He promised Moses that He would lead them into “a land flowing with milk and honey,” and did just that through Joshua. God expanded Israel’s borders through King David and his son Solomon, and sent His Only Begotten Son Jesus to Israel as their Suffering Savior. Jesus Christ will return to Israel in the future to establish His Messianic Kingdom, where He will rule the world from His Throne in Jerusalem.
What Moses heard God say on that day, on the mountain from the burning bush that was not consumed, was God showing Israel what it meant to be a child of the Heavenly Father.
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. ‘Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:5-13
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”