Tuesday after Septuagesima
Scripture: Exodus 6:1-13 (NKJV)
1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
2 And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord I was not known to them. 4 I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.'” 9 So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.
10 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 11 “Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
12 And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, “The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?”
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.
It is impossible for a man to look into the heart of another—whether God or man—and determine the inner disposition of that heart. We can know this hidden, inner character only through outward words and actions. The words by which God names Himself are particular revelations of His character. Each of the many different names that God ascribes to Himself testifies to a particular facet of His nature. Additionally, God confirms this word about Himself with a visible demonstration that the name describes Him perfectly.
In today’s reading, God prepares His people for yet another demonstration of His character, this one associated with His Name, “Lord.” While this particular title for God Almighty certainly was not unknown to the ancestors of the Israelites, neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob were witnesses to the type of demonstration that God soon would give to the children of Israel to confirm that this Name reveals His character as “Redeemer.” The children of Israel would see the Lord redeem His people Israel, relieving them from their burdens, rescuing them from their bondage, and bringing them to the land promised to their fathers.
A later generation of Israel would witness another demonstration of God’s character as “Lord,” when He came with an outstretched arm—stretched out and nailed upon a cross—in the person of His Son. His word and work cause all who bear the Name “Israel”—every person within whom God’s Holy Spirit has created faith through Word and Sacrament—to confess in word and deed: “I believe that Jesus Christ, true Son of God, has become my Lord” (Luther’s Large Catechism).
We pray: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Amen.