I know you by name

June 18, 2024

By Editorial Team

Moses on Mt Sinai

"So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name" Exodus 33:17

Here is the background (Exodus 32,33,34). Moses had just spent 40 days on Mount Sinai with God, and God gave him all the Law, the precepts, the sacrifices, design of the Sanctuary, Altar etc. and God wrote with his finger the Ten commandments on Two tablets of stone and gave them to Moses and he returned. While Moses was away, the people were fed up that Moses was in the mountain, and not knowing when he will be back etc, they went astray. They came together to Aaron and asked for an idol, and Aaron in his weakness made them a golden calf and the public started worshipping it. God was really angry that this was happening down the mountain. Yet in His Graciousness he didn’t burn them up in one go. As Moses came down the mountain he saw the golden calf and pagan rituals, he was really angry with the Israelites, he broke the two tablets of stone, ground them to powder and made them drink it. And he asked the Levites to take a sword and kill all the people doing Pagan rituals and worshipping calves. About 3000 Israelites were killed with the sword that day (Ex 32:28).

God wanted to finish them off in a moment and but Moses goes up again to meet the Lord to ask forgiveness on behalf of Israel. Moses tells him to consider what Egyptians will think if the Lord consumed them all in a moment, after all those mighty miracles of deliverance. What will the nations think, that God could deliver them from Egyptians, Red sea parted, daily manna and water, but killed them all. Perhaps he couldn’t bring them into the promised land, so God slew them in the desert. The train of Moses arguments is amazing, this is called Supplication, like a Lawyer making his arguments. And finally Moses lays down his Salvation and says, Lord if you will not forgive these people, and take them back again as your people, even me being saved is not worth it. My life’s work and salvation too I lay down and ask you to forgive us all. What an identification with the sinners. And the Lord, in His Mercy relents and resumes the journey for the children of Israel. For that was Spirit of Christ interceding through Moses. The people repent and even put off their ornaments. Here is when the Lord tells him, I know you by name and you have found grace in my sight.

What is this - I know you by name? A few learnings from Moses life.

1) Moses had a proper understanding of God. He read the word, studied it and spent copious time in it daily. Remember Moses was the Prophet who wrote down the Pentateuch (Gen-Ex-Lev-Num-Deut). Till that time, these books were more of an oral tradition and Moses was the person who compiled them and wrote them down. Without reading the Bible daily, (say 3-4 chapters at a minimum), we won’t get enough food. Time spent in Bible reading is time spent with Jesus.

2) Getting back to the Cross: Time and again the only thing that can save you when in trouble is to come back to the Cross. Moses knew Jesus well, in fact it was probably Christ who spoke to him behind the veil. He also saw the back parts of Christ (Ex 33:23), as commentators say probably Jesus stripes. He knew the proper meaning of the sacrifices, that Jesus had to die for our sins as a sin-offering. Messiah as the lamb of God, our Paschal lamb, and our atonement.

3) He was friends with God: God knew Moses mobile number and Moses knew God’s mobile and email, he knew God’s schedule too (joking). Many of us have God’s landline number only and when we call it goes into a call centre! God could depend on Moses to obey in a matter, as he would do things promptly and exactly as instructed. He bore the people’s burdens to God and brought back replies. He also bore the Lord’s burdens, understanding God’s sorrows and praying them through. It was the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ) in him, that was praying. He was a dependable servant, faithful in all the house (Heb 3:2).

4) He had his failings and fears: Early on in life, he was afraid of Pharoah and fled Egypt. Having a bit of stammer, he was ashamed of public speaking and being a spokesperson, so God gave him Aaron a mouthpiece. He had his bouts of anger and frustration with people and circumstances. He just broke the tablets of the ten commandments, later on he hits the Rock with his stick to produce water. But he always confessed and went back to God. We are not perfect, but its good to keep short accounts with God.

5) He was very humble, more than any that were on the face of the earth (Num 12:3). We need to give up our trust in our abilities and strengths and health and wealth. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs in the Kingdom of God.

6) Lastly he was a man of faith. He just believed whatever God told him. I will take you into the Promised land, yes Lord I believe it. I will feed you breakfast and dinner, Ok Lord do it. Sunday is a day of rest, yes Lord we will not work and spend time with you. Water will come from the Rock, sure I will speak to it. The sea will part, ok I will lift up my staff in faith. Whenever he had problems, he took them to the Lord, the fears and doubts and heartaches. He had honest conversations with the Lord..

We are not Moses, or Peters or Pauls. But God has given us a little sphere of influence. Basically it is a call to pray for them, for our colleagues, friends and neighbours to know Christ. Sometimes we need to also pray for the larger issues, nations, social issues we read in newspapers, for the state of the Church etc. Job prayed for his friends and God restored him, John prayed for the 7 Churches while in Patmos and Lord Jesus visited him and turned things around. Today broaden your prayers, hear God’s heart and pray it back. God loves those prayers and is waiting for someone to bear His sorrows on earth. He will answer them for His Glory. Sooner or later, I believe you will see some answers.

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