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Hello, I'm God! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
December 16, 2020 2:00 am

Hello, I'm God! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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December 16, 2020 2:00 am

Words are powerful. People have written and spoken about God for millennia. But in the message "Hello, I'm God!" we get to hear from God Himself as He gives to us His own autobiography in His Word.

This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.




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The best way to learn about God is from God Himself, to enter into a relationship with Him and hear from Him what He says about Himself. Moses does that. Moses grew up an Israelite.

He knew he was a Jewish person. He learned about that as he was raised in Egypt. But in the last few chapters, he has had more intimate contact with God. Many people have tried to tackle the subject of God and who He is.

But we should hear about that from God Himself. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Skip explores God's autobiography and scripture, helping you know Him even more personally. But first, we want to share about where you can hear even more encouraging Bible messages from Skip. Well, I want you to know that because of support from listeners like you, our media ministry is expanding. Our weekly half-hour TV program is continuing to grow. In addition to our weekend broadcast on the worldwide Hillsong Channel, we are now being seen each week on the Trinity Broadcast Network. Thank you for your donations that make this expansion even possible. It's a joy to see the teaching of God's Word reach even more people.

Here are the viewing details for Hillsong and TBN. Now we're in Exodus chapter 34 as we dive into our study with Skip Heitzig. There was an eight-year-old, a third grader, who was given the task of explaining God. And he wrote a few paragraphs.

Listen to one of them. He said, one of God's main jobs is making people. He makes these to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies.

I think that's because they're smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't take up his valuable time teaching them to walk and talk. He can just leave that up to the mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on as some people like preachers and things pray at other times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV on account of this.

As he hears everything, not only prayers, there must be a terrible lot of noise going into his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. One of the people pouring noise into the ears of God was a man by the name of Moses who has a conversation with the Lord for a few chapters in the book of Exodus, a very intimate encounter with him. And we pick it up in Exodus 34 when the Lord speaks to him a revelation of himself. In verse 5 of Exodus 34, now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation.

So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth and worshipped. I remember the night that I met my wife Lenya. I saw her across a room. I noticed what she was wearing. I noticed how pretty she was and I didn't go up to her and introduce myself but I remember that she came across the room and she put out her hand and shook my hand and I was struck by the fact that she shook it so firmly and she said, hi, I'm Lenya.

And that was the beginning of a very long and satisfying relationship, turned into a marriage and the flame is still burning. But after that, I remember calling her roommate or the girl who was about to be her roommate who she was going to move in with and I called her on the phone. I said, tell me about Lenya, tell me what is she like, what does she like to do, etc. And then I finally said, now give me her phone number.

I want to call her and ask her out. So I called her, asked her out and on that first date, she told me about where she was born, what she grew up doing, told me about her testimony, how she came to Christ, she told me about what she hoped to do and be in life. When it comes to knowing God, you can do a couple of things. You can talk to people about God or get information about God from other people. We do that, we read books, we read what an author says about God and go, I really like this author the way he writes about God.

Or we listen to the lyrics of a song written by a Christian musician and it speaks to us a certain way. But at some point, the best way to learn about God is from God himself, to enter into a relationship with him and hear from him what he says about himself. Moses does that.

Moses grew up an Israelite, he knew he was a Jewish person, he learned about that as he was raised in Egypt. But in the last few chapters, he has had more intimate contact with God. And in the previous chapter, he says, God, show me your glory. And you remember God said, well, you can't see the full expression of my glory, you'll die. It's like a bug zapper, we said last time. You get too close to it, you just freak out, there's no way. But he said, I'm going to pass by and you're going to see something of that passing but I am going to tell you about myself, I'm going to proclaim who I am to you.

And we're going to enter into that relationship as you learn more about me. So God's answer to Moses is not an appearance, but a list of attributes, a theology lesson, if you will. God gives him words, 51 words in my English translation. And something about the passage that we just read, it happens to be one of the most important Bible passages in the entire scripture. I know that because of how many times Old Testament Bible writers refer to Exodus 34. Moses later on will remind God of this incident that takes place in Exodus 34 when he intercedes for his people as they fail to take the promised land in Numbers 13. Nehemiah will pull truths out of this passage as he confesses his sin in Nehemiah chapter 9. Jeremiah will quote this passage when he prays facing the Babylonian captivity in Jeremiah 32.

David will make reference to Exodus 34 in Psalm 103 and in Psalm 145. And two minor prophets, Joel and Jonah, knew this passage by heart. They quoted it freely. They quoted it by heart. Shades of this passage also appear in Deuteronomy chapter 5, 1 Kings chapter 3, Lamentations chapter 3, Daniel 9, and Nahum chapter 3. So Bible authors clearly understood that Exodus 34 is a foundational statement about God.

The answer is pretty clear as to why. It's the only place God himself tells you what he is like. It is God's autobiography.

Now as we go through this little section that I just read, that we just read together, I want you to notice a couple aspects about God's personality. His designation, that is his name, and his description as well as his expectation. We begin with his name, his designation. Notice that God begins this little dialogue or this monologue at this point with Moses by introducing his name. He said in verse 6, the Lord, the Lord God.

Stop right there. Now when you meet somebody, the first thing you tell that person generally is their name. Hi, I'm Lenya.

You give your name so that people can identify you from that point onward. God does that with Moses. The Lord, the Lord God. In Hebrew, Yahweh, Yahweh, El. By the way, it's the only place in Scripture where this precise formula occurs. Yahweh, Yahweh, El. Now that word El, that's a generic word for God found in the Old Testament. It's a Semitic term, even used to describe gods of other nations. But the word Yahweh is specific. It means I am.

I am. It's the name that God introduced himself to Moses with at the burning bush. Remember when God spoke to Moses and said, Moses, you're going to be the deliverer of the children of Israel. And Moses said, well, they're going to say, who sent you? And I got it, I got to give him a name.

So what is your name? And God said to him in Exodus three, I am who I am. And he said, thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me to you. He goes on to say, this is my name forever. So he introduces himself with that name, Yahweh, Yahweh, El.

Why twice? Why not just Yahweh once? Why Yahweh, Yahweh? It's simply for emphasis, to emphasize to Moses that the same God who called him in Exodus three is the one who was talking to him at that point. Now the words I am is the first person form of the Hebrew verb, Hayah, which means to be.

The name Yahweh is just the third person form of that verb. It means the self-existent one. In other words, God doesn't depend on anybody for his existence. We depend on God for our existence.

God depends on no one for his existence. So he is the self-existent one. Also, the name I am refers to his eternal nature. He is. He's not the great I was.

He's not the great I used to be. He is I am. He is eternal. Also, the name I am refers to his active existence.

The verses show that God is involved in humanity. God's not aloof, detached. He's not sitting up in heaven. He's not sitting like he's not seeing what's going on on the earth. He is very much involved.

He is, right? That's what Hebrews said. If you're going to come to God, the writer of Hebrews said, you must first believe that God is I am that I am and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Now notice something. Look in your Bibles at the word Lord. Look in your Bibles at the word Lord.

Look in your Bibles at the word Lord. It's all in capitals, right? Capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D. Now that's not always the way it is in the Old Testament. Sometimes it's capital L, small o-r-d. But whenever you see all capitals, capital L, capital O, capital R, capital D, capital R, capital D, you're dealing with the name Yahweh.

You're dealing with a word that has four consonants. We would call it y-h-w-h and we think it's pronounced Yahweh. It's rendered as Yahweh. I say we think because the Israelites at some point in their history felt it was better to avoid using the term Yahweh than chancing abusing the name of God.

So they just stopped saying it. They thought human lips are are too sinful to even utter the name of God. So they replaced the name Yahweh with the term Adonai, which is the mighty one or Lord, capital L, capital O-r-d. So we think it's Yahweh. I am that I am. That's what God introduces himself to Moses.

Hi, I'm God. Now in the Bible the idea of a name is more than just a tag to identify a person. A name carries a reputation. It means somebody's character or somebody's authority. We are told to pray in Jesus' name.

Come to the Father using my reputation and my authority. And the Hebrews believed that there's a connection between a person's name and a person's nature. By the way, modern experts would agree. One psychologist studied 15,000 juvenile delinquents, discovered that those who had odd or embarrassing names got into trouble four times as much as other kids with more normal names. So just a little word of advice, if you're thinking of the goofiest name you can think for that newborn coming up, be careful. There's a connection between name and nature. Here's some real names, I kid you not. Now if you take a book and you really are loving the book that you're reading, you call it, it's a real page-turner you say, right? But imagine being called page-turner. Unless you're going to be an author, that's going to be a tough name to carry around with you probably all your life. Leo Tolstoy was a Russian author who wrote The Famous Book War and Peace, so the Peace family decided they would call their son Warren, War and Peace. But the third one, come on, that's a tough one to live with, though everybody loves Bacon, to have your name Chris B. Bacon.

I don't know if that's Kevin Bacon's idea or who came up with that, but that'd be a tough one. Now back to the Bible. When parents named their children their children in biblical times, they would name their kids with the hope that their child would live up to the name. So the name Judah means praise. The idea is I hope my child grows up to praise the Lord. Or the name Samuel means God hears.

It's the hope that my son will grow up hearing the voice of the Lord and crying out to God and God will hear him when he does. All of that that hope was built into the name. Sometimes parents name their children based upon the circumstances that were going on at the time of the birth. So when Isaac and Rebecca had Jacob and Esau.

Esau was born first and when he came out he he had a lot of hair on, more than most babies. So they called him Harry because that's what they saw when the baby came out. Boy that baby's Harry. What do we call him? Harry.

That works. And then the second son came out grabbing the heel of Esau and they called him Heelcatcher. That's what Yaakov or Jacob means.

One who grabs the heel of another. So these were named at the circumstances of the birth. Now some people because of that sort of got a raw deal. So one kid when he was born it happened to be the exact same time that the Ark of the Covenant was being stolen by the Philistines. So Phineas and his wife had a baby boy and she called him Ichabod which means the glory has departed. Now that would be a tough name to go to school with. What's your name? Glory has departed.

You got to live with that your whole life. But God's designation is Yahweh. I am that I am. I am the eternal being, the all self-existent one. Then we have a list of words that describe God's personality. These are attributes of God and what I've done is I've categorized them into three categories.

Benevolent attributes, bountiful attributes, and balanced attributes. Let's begin with the benevolent ones. God says the Lord, the Lord God, here's the first word, merciful. The first word God wants you to know about himself is that he is merciful. Some translations say compassionate. The Hebrew root word refers to a mother's womb because it describes the feeling of a superior being for an inferior being like a parent for a child. David in Psalm 103 said just as a father has compassion on his children so Yahweh has compassion on those who fear him. So first attribute God is gracious or excuse me God is merciful.

God is compassionate. I remember when we had our son Nate and I held him in my hands and I was so apprehensive about being a father. I just didn't know how I was going to manage it. I've never done it before so you know most dads just get really scared about this. Young dads I've discovered but I was like I was thinking how am I going to love this baby? He's so helpless.

Baby he's so helpless. I've never done this before but you know God gives the emotional equipment along with the child to the parents. So I discovered this growing sense of compassion for this child and one time we were in a restaurant locally and my wife and I were eating lunch. We put our little baby Nate in a high chair and by the way not all high chairs are created equal. I discovered and this was sort of a rickety one and when my son was arching his head back he went backwards. The whole high chair fell backwards.

He hit his head on a wooden floor in the restaurant. I just stood up and there was this surge of compassion. This emotional outburst that I wanted to protect this little child. So God looks on his people much like parents look on their children knowing their limitations. David said God knows our frail frame and he remembers that we are dust.

So attribute number one God is merciful. Notice the next word he is gracious. A word that is used 13 times in the Old Testament. It refers to the feeling of one stronger toward one who is weaker almost always used of God as the subject. When Jacob later on when he meets up with Esau again in Genesis 33 when Jacob wants to explain to Esau why he has such a big family and and and he's so wealthy and he has so many flocks and herds he says because the Lord has dealt graciously with me. That's the word he used God is gracious.

In 2nd Samuel 12 David's son was near death and David fasted and prayed that God would spare his life. He says who knows Yahweh may be gracious to me. Now you know if you know the Bible the theme of grace goes throughout all of scripture from Genesis to Revelation but it finds its fullness in the New Testament right. John writes the law came by Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. So grace find finds its full expression in the New Testament. Charles Ryrie writes Christianity is distinct from all other religions because it is a message of grace.

God's undeserved favor. Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God's grace. Salvation is by grace and grace governs and empowers Christian living. Without grace Christianity is nothing. This is what it means. God treats you well not because you are strong not because you are deserving. God treats you well because you are not strong and you are not deserving and so God is gracious.

That's Skip Python with a message from the series 2020. Right now we want to share about an exciting resource that will help you rediscover the power of prayer. Recent research has found that Google searches for the word prayer have surged worldwide alongside the spread of the novel coronavirus. In fact Google Trends data shows that the search intensity for prayer doubles for every 8,000 COVID-19 cases. But is there a right way or a more effective way to pray?

Here's best-selling author Kay Arthur. Where the battles raging were to be on the front lines on the front lines on our knees on the front line standing in the full armor of God. Kay's book Lord Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days offers simple but powerful instruction on how and what to pray and what to expect when you do. And it's our way to say thank you when you give a gift of $25 or more today to help keep this ministry on the air. Give online securely at slash offer or call 800-922-1888.

Our experience is of God's strength and presence here on earth give us just a glimpse of eternity with him. That's why it's important to share the good news of Jesus so others can know his love now and be with him in heaven forever. When you give a gift you help connect others to Jesus love by keeping this teaching ministry going strong. Visit slash donate to give a gift now. That's slash donate or call 800-922-1888.

800-922-1888. Thank you. Tune in tomorrow as Skip Heitzig explains many of God's attributes giving you great and encouraging insight into God's character. Either Jesus takes the punishment for your sin or you do. Which do you want? Do you want to stand before God on your own? Yeah I'll do it. I'm good with it. I'll take my chances.

Dumb idea. Better to say I'll let Jesus take it for me and God is willing to do that. He is ready to forgive. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications. Connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
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