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Dimensions of the supernatural

This is my name forever, and this is my memorial from generation to generation v.

Indeed, in accordance with his repeated promise, the Lord was about to deliver his people from the power of the Pharaoh and take them out of the land of Egypt. This was doubtless reassuring to Moses as well, for the contest with Pharaoh was about to begin. They would realize that the LORD, the God of their cherished patriarchs, was indeed the one and only true God of the universe. And greater still, all of his people could now know him in a far richer way, that is, know him personally.

This well-known divine formula is found several more times in the Pentateuch, all with special contextual importance. Thus during the Israelite encampment before Mount Sinai, God called Moses up the mountain to give him special instructions concerning proper worship procedures for the people to follow. This led them to devise a substitute religion and so they fell into idolatry.

Therefore, God told Moses to go down from the mountain and confront the people. They would perish, but Moses would yet be the channel for a great nation to come Exod. Accordingly, God spared the people and did not utterly destroy them. Nevertheless, he did punish them because of their sin by sending a plague v.

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God would yet deal with his people as a nation in accordance with his covenant, so that eventually Israel would enter the land of promise. Although the journey would prove to be a long and difficult one, the Lord did graciously lead the way Exod. Through these events the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is seen to be a gracious God who at times forgives his people despite their sins, for they are his special possession cf.

Although obeying the law did not produce righteousness Rom. Deut The need for covenant faithfulness is emphasized in connection with Levitical stipulations. Even then, however, God would never forget his covenant promises to the descendants of the patriarchs:.

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Although the terms of the familiar covenant formula are presented here in a slightly different manner, their reiteration carries distinct significance. Certainly God must discipline his people as the covenant prescribed cf. Amos , but Israel is still his own and in accordance with the Abrahamic Covenant he will never forget them cf. On the one hand, he remembered his people, rewarding their obedience, while sometimes even forgiving them of their oft complaining. On the other hand, his covenant obligations demanded that he punish his people for their sins.

This is demonstrated in the incident of the twelve Israelites one from each tribe who were sent into the land of promise to investigate conditions there. Although on their return Caleb and Joshua brought back an encouraging report, the report of the others was discouraging Num. Then Moses once again interceded with the Lord on their behalf, in order that God might forgive them cf.

The Lord graciously agreed to do so, in order not to destroy Israel immediately. This incident is later recalled when Moses received the representatives of the tribes of Reuben and Gad who had asked to have their allotment of territory in Transjordan and remain behind while the rest of the Israelites entered the land of promise Num. Moses challenged them vv. Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old and upward will see the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenzzite, and Joshua the son of Nun, for they followed me wholeheartedly.

When the representatives agreed to accompany their fellow Israelites, Moses assured them that their tribes would be granted their wish to settle in Transjordan vv. This includes both his blessings and his chastisements. He expects his followers likewise to be faithful to covenant requirements.

Much of what is expressed in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers is emphasized in Deuteronomy. Indeed, it was the Lord who also had enacted the Mosaic Covenant or Law , while maintaining the promise in the Abrahamic Covenant. The Lord is indeed a faithful God. There they were to revere the Lord and live faithful, obedient lives Deut. At that time he had to intercede passionately with God on behalf of the people so that they would not utterly be destroyed. Moreover, this is to be an everlasting covenant with the people of Israel vv. The basic covenant made at Mount Sinai was, therefore, being renewed and updated for the generation that was about to enter the land.

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As an interesting aside, it should be noted that biblical scholars have long recognized that in its entirety the book of Deuteronomy is structured along the lines of a suzerainty treaty, and thus is a conditional covenant: preamble ; historical prologue ; covenant stipulations, including an exposition of the Decalogue and accompanying laws tipulations, including an exposition of the Decalogue and accompanying laws ; covenant sanctions , including a ratification ceremony ch.

These were concluded by a narrative epilogue detailing some historical notices One last occurrence in the Pentateuch of the ancient formula associated with the Abrahamic Covenant is found in Deuteronomy God was as good as his word, for Moses died there in the land of Moab, across the river from Jericho in the Promised Land vv. What a privilege and joy it must have been for Moses in his final hours not only to view the land to which he had labored so long to bring the people, but to be in intimate contact with the faithful, covenant keeping God of the universe!

Elijah had a significant ministry for the Lord, so much so that three chapters chs. It is in the account of his contest with the prophets of Baal that we find the familiar patriarchal formula. Despite their frenzied efforts, the prophets of Baal achieved nothing in their attempts.

Answer me. God sent a fire that not only consumed the sacrifice, but the altar itself and everything surrounding it. The use of the patriarchal formula not only reminded the Israelites of who was their God, but also demonstrated that those who are faithful to the Lord could call upon him and have their prayers answered cf.

Jesus: Who Do You Think You Are? 1. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

James It is noteworthy as well that in the formula utilized here the patriarchal name Israel occurs rather than Jacob. Nevertheless, God remained faithful to them in spite of their stubborn hearts. For example, in the early days of the fourth dynasty of the northern kingdom it is reported that,. The LORD had mercy on them and felt pity for them. He extended his favor to them because of the promise he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has been unwilling to destroy them or remove them from his presence to this very day.

The same lack of faithfulness was true during the eighth century, B. Nevertheless, a couple of good kings appear in the history of the southern kingdom. One of these is Hezekiah B. Hezekiah was remembered for his trust in and loyalty to the Lord 2 Kings This also took the form of the instituting of religious reforms 2 Kings One of these was the reinstitution of the Passover. Thus we read of his royal edict for the people throughout Israel to attend the Passover in Jerusalem, albeit it was being observed one month later than the traditional date 2 Chron.

If you return to the LORD, your brothers and sons will be shown mercy by their captors and return to the land. Thus the Psalmist declares:. He always remembers his covenantal decree, the promise he made to a thousand generations—the promise he made to Abraham, the promise he made by oath to Isaac!

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The role of the patriarchs A b raham, Isaac, and Jacob continued to be one of great importance to the Jewish people even into New Testament times. Thus Paul addresses a special section in his Epistle to the Romans Rom.

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Therefore, he became the progenitor of all people to follow who possess genuine faith, whether Jew or Gentile. It must be noted, of course, that the Apostle James makes it clear that true faith is demonstrated in doing righteous acts, even as did Abraham James ; cf. Heb These include not only natural descendants but those of faith, and especially those of genuine faith in Christ Jesus. Isaac and Jacob are also of interest to Paul. Elsewhere Paul challenges his Jewish hearers to remember their great privilege of being descendants of the patriarchs through divine election by their God.

Indeed, the Lord has remained faithful to his promise to Abraham, which was channeled through Isaac and Jacob Rom Thus the patriarchal formula was yet felt and confessed in New Testament times. One of these is found in a dialogue between Jesus and the Sadducees.

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When the Sadducees presented to Jesus a theoretical case apparently detrimental to a belief in the resurrection, Jesus taught them about the changed conditions in the post-resurrection life Luke Jesus then reminded them of the well-known incident of Moses standing before the burning bush saying,. Even Moses revealed that the dead are raised in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.

Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live before him. Luke Resurrection is therefore not a fantasy dreamed up the wishful thinking of less than rigorous theologians; resurrection is a necessary outcome of the character and nature of God. As we noted in our opening remarks, Peter uses the occasion of the healing of the lame man first to deny any personal power of healing Acts and then to deliver a message to the amazed crowd that had gathered around them vv. Accordingly, in the course of his remarks Peter reminded his hearers that this same Moses as well as the Old Testament prophets spoke of a coming prophet whom the people must listen to and obey.

The God Of Abraham, Isaac, And Jacob

That prophet was indeed Jesus the Messiah, the very one whom the Jewish people had crucified rather than obeying. Yet it was not too late, for the Lord stood ready to receive repentant sinners who put their faith in the resurrected Christ Jesus. But there is more, for as we noted above, the patriarchal formula had already been utilized before the incident of the burning bush. Yet there is even more, for all of this is built upon the foundation of the Abrahamic Covenant, which disclosed to Abraham:.

I will make you the father of a multitude of nations.