Advent: The God Who Defines

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9:16).

I remember when I graduated college I knew it all. I was hot stuff. I was a genius and I was talented. I was everything every company needed to hire. Problem was, I was the only one who held this opinion.

With every rejection letter, with phone call that ended with “We went with another candidate,” the voice in my head screamed, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM? I’M AWESOME!!”

I kinda think there’s something of this going on in the plague stories. Well, maybe not exactly, but go with me on this.

Pharaoh and the Egyptians don’t know who Yahweh is. (And Yahweh is his personal name, while “God” is what he is. Sort of like how I am a “human” and my name is “Peter.” It’s a complicated story for another day, but for our purposes here we’ll use “Yahweh.”) More importantly, the Israelites don’t know Yahweh.

Put yourself in their shoes. They don’t know about Jesus, the cross or resurrection. They don’t have the Psalms or the words of the prophets. King David is at least 200 years away. All you know about Yahweh is the book of Genesis. And let’s face it. That’s not much.

The Creator god Yahweh mourns over his corrupted, broken world, but has a plan of redemption that involves this group of brick-making slaves. “This is who I am,” he seems to be saying. “Your Egyptian gods, your pride, your ingenuity and innovation–you can’t fathom how insignificant they are compared to me.” These are the lengths Yahweh will go for his people. The God-With-Us is defining himself for his people.

What has Yahweh done in your life to put on full display who He is?



About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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