It is in chapter 6 of Exodus, where we will truly appreciate that God sees all things and that there is a plan which He will enforce at the right time. Let us turn to this mighty chapter. It opens with these words, Then the LORD said to Moses,“Now you shall see what I will do…

Do what and to whom? To Pharaoh and to all those who are touching the apple of His eye as He calls Israel (Zech. 2:8). And in that same verse He speaks of His power to save.  With a strong hand בְיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ (b’yad chazakah), Pharaoh will let them go, b’yad chazakah, because of God’s strong hand, the king of Egypt will be forced to drive the Israelites out.

And the reason He gives is in these next verses. His speech really begins in verse two and ends in verse eight and it is framed with the words I AM THE LORD which He repeats four times throughout (vv. 2,6,7,8). Pharaoh asked who is the Lord, and the Lord answers, I AM THE LORD and He is about to demonstrate the power behind those words. The name He uses is Yaweh; Yud, Hei, Vav, Hei. This is His proper name associated with His promises and covenants. Something He never forgets.

And the Lord recalls His covenant with Israel twice in verses four and five. This is one reason why He acts and will act these days and very soon, for His promises are as sure as His name, as He says in Psalm 138. See how He speaks of His covenant with Israel in Exodus 6:4, I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. Here is the subject of the land coming back again. Today they want to deprive Israel of what God has given them: God is about to act, just as He did in the Exodus and He will give the land, all the land back to Israel as He promised.

And in verse seven, He calls Israel, My people. They did not look like His people while in Egypt, but they were.“‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. This is one of six times He calls them My people from Exodus 3 to Exodus 7, when Israel was in grave danger of annihilation.

And see what else He calls His people in the same verse: My hosts. Twice he calls them hosts in Exodus 6:26 & 7:4. The word host, in Hebrew zavah, really means an army ready for battle, yet, they were slaves and did not look like an army at all. But this is what God was to make out of them for they had to fight many battles for their survival, and even today, they have not yet finished. In fact, after the Exodus, once in the land, the Israelites had to fight over 30 different nations in Canaan.

And this is when the Lord is about to tell Moses something, a verse which inspired many commentators to write about. Exodus 6:3 says, I was seen by Abraham, by Isaac, and by Jacob as God Shaddai, but my name YHWH I was not known to them.

The question is this: They knew very well the name of YHWH; they called Him by this name many times in the past, so how is it that this name was not known by them?

While they did know the name of God, they had never seen Him in action with Israel as a nation. In the same way, many know the name of Yeshua, but have we experienced His presence and His power personally in our lives?

In Exodus, God gave many promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He promised them the land, but they never owned it, and especially as a people. Now He was about to give it to their descendants. He promised Abraham a descendant who would be a blessing to the nations of the world. Now He is about to begin the fulfilment of these promises with first the building of the Tabernacle and then the establishment of the messianic line through the tribe of Judah.

In many ways, these promises have not yet reached their full realization, their intended fulfillment.  It is still on going. We have not finished seeing the accomplishments of this mighty name of YHWH, and we will surely not, for He is infinite and everlasting.

Now the main difficulty here with God’s name is the way God made Himself known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew Him under another name as well, as El Shaddai. Many ancient rabbis confessed that this is a difficult word to explain (Ibn Ezra). It is not El Shaddai that is difficult to understand, but it is how this name came to be attributed to God. The word Hebrew shaddai is from the root word shadad which means to overpower, to even treat with violence. (Jewish Ency.). This root word is translated as waste and spoiler. How can we attribute this word to God?

We can understand it as His power, His anger, His intolerance of lawlessness. This is a side of God that the Bible brings out very often that is so often disregarded. The Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament describe the Lord as a consuming fire, that is in relation to His power of judgment and His holiness; that is El Shaddai. The Bible describes His throne as a fiery flame, for holiness cannot tolerate sin for long and He is about to come down. God has not stopped being El Shaddai, but with this name, He will accomplish His promises and so He is both El Shaddai and Jehovah.


Click here for the Message on the Book of Exodus, Sermon 7: The Uncompromising Duo Moses & Pharaoh”