A Study of Exodus 5:1-2
“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:1-2)
Moses and Aaron went in to king Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, and they demanded that Pharaoh let Israel go. They said, “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; let my people go.” And that’s when Pharaoh answered in this fashion, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice? I know not the LORD.”
It will be well worth your time to carefully consider this question: “Who is the LORD?”
First of all: God is not who we ‘think’ He is; God is who He is!
Consider this for a moment. God is not who you think He is. You say, “Well; I think this about God.” Well He’s not who you think He is. God is who He is.
The Scripture says this in Psalm 50:21; “Thou thoughtest that I was all together such a one as thyself.”
And then in Isaiah 55:8 the Scripture says; “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways.”
And God said again; “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
I must not rely on my thoughts about God. I must find out from Him who He really is. God is not who men think He is. If God is who men think He is, you would have just as many gods as you have people. But God is who He is.
Again, consider this for a moment; God is not who we say He is but God is who He says He is.
Do you see the difference there?
God is not who you think He is. Your thoughts are not God’s thoughts. God is who He is regardless of what you think or regardless of what I think. And God is not who I say God is. And God is not who you say God is. God is who He says He is.
The heathen bows before his idols of stone and marble and he says, “Here is God and here is his God.” These are his thoughts of God. This is his conception of God. This is who the heathen says God is. “Here is God,” says the heathen, the idols of stone and marble.
The religionist; he brings forth statues of dead saints, statues of the virgin, a crucifix with a man hanging on it with a crown of thorns on his head.
And he bows before those statues and he says, “Here is God, here is God, here’s my conception of God, and here are my thoughts of God. Here is who I say that God is.” Well God is not who we say he is. God is who He says He is.
And the legalist; he brings forth his laws of do’s and don’ts and his religious standards and his “church” standards, and his confessions and he says; “Now do this and don’t do that and do something else for this is God.”
And then the theologian digs out all of his old books and his old creeds and his old catechism’s and his doctrines and his charts and his prophecies and he says, “Here is God.”
And the emotionalist’s talk about visions and dreams. They’ll tell you of a vision they or someone else had. For example a man may say he saw the Lord, the Lord sat down on the side of his bed. Well that’s his conception of God. Those are his thoughts of God. The emotionalist tells you about great lights that he’s seen and great dreams that he’s had. He’s seen God in human form and he says, “This is God.”
And then the ceremonialist; he goes through all the motions of denominational programs and playing “church” on Sunday morning and going through all of these different ordinances, sacraments, and rituals and he says, “Come join me; this is God.”
The fundamentalist talks about the terrors of hell and the glories of heaven and the joys of the everlasting life and he says; “Come to the front; come down to the front of our “church”. Come to the altar and meet God. God is down here. Come down here where God is.”
And the LORD says to us the same thing that He said to the religionist, the fundamentalist, the legalists, the ceremonialists, the emotionalists, the sacramentalists, and all these other people in His day. He said, “Ye neither know me, nor my Father.” (John 8:19)
And before He left here, before He was crucified, and before He was buried and rose again, He said this to His disciples, to those who truly knew Him, those to whom He asked this question; “Whom say ye that I am?” And they said; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And He said; “Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15-17)
And He said this to them before He went to the cross; He said, “They (the religionists) shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time will cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:2-3)
Men do not by nature know God. “Here is God.”
Well who is the LORD?
Somebody said to David one day; “Our gods are on the pedestals where we put them. Our gods are in the shrines where we have fashioned and molded them. Where is your God David? Where is your God?”
What if somebody said that to you today? You say men ought to obey God and they say, “Who is the LORD that I should obey Him? I know not the LORD.”
David in Psalm 42:1-2 said this; “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God.”
In Philippians 3:10 Paul wrote; “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,” Oh that I may know Him, that I may know the living God, the true God and the power of His resurrection.
And our Lord Jesus Christ said in that great priestly prayer of John 17:3, “This is life eternal that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
God Almighty is who He is. And we’re not going to change that by our thoughts or by our words or by our ideas about God. God is who He is. The Almighty God is who He says He is.
Therefore, a correct knowledge of God held by you or me, by a Baptist or Methodist, Catholic, Protestant, Reformed; knowledge of the living God must come from Him, it must come from Him by divine revelation.
That’s where it’s got to come from if I’m going to find out who He is in answering this question that Pharaoh asked, “Who is the LORD that I should obey Him?”
And our Lord Jesus said, “This is life eternal, that that they might know the the only true God.” Life eternal is to know God. And if I’m going to know who God is; He’s going to have to teach me Himself. That’s the only source of information; God is who He is and God is who He says He is.
1st Corinthians 2:11 says: “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in Him?” I don’t know what’s in you except what you tell me or reveal to me. And even so, no man knows what’s in another man unless that man is pleased to reveal himself to us, his thoughts, his principles, and his convictions.
Now listen, “Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Do you see that? And listen to 1 Corinthians 2:14: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Job asked this; “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heavens; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” (Job 11:7-8)
Any knowledge that we have in this heart or in this mind of the true God must come from Him by divine revelation and the LORD God has chosen to reveal Himself to us in two ways. Indeed, the heavens declare the glory of God, man in our day has forgotten this. Believers must not forget this. And we must endevour to know something about the righteousness of God, the justice of God, the mercy of God, the love of God, the character of God, and the person of God. We must endeavour to find out who He is. We know He made this earth, praise His name, but who is the God who made this earth, what is He like?
And there are two ways that God has chosen to reveal Himself. Who is the LORD? He is who He is and He is who He says He is. And it must come by divine revelation. If we are going to know anything about God in our heart, He’s going to have to teach us. And there’s two ways that He’ll teach us, His elect children, who He is:
First of all: By His Word!
Secondly: By His Son!
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
God who at sundry times and in different ways spake to our fathers by the prophets, by the Word; Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. That’s the only way. God speaks by His Word through His prophets and He speaks to us through His Son. And this is the way of the living God.
You are not going to find out who God is by your feelings and by your emotions and by your traditions and by your ceremonies and walking out looking at the trees and looking at nature. You’re only going to find out who God is through His Word and through His Son. That’s the only way.
And this is the way God reveals Himself. And if you would know the true God, the living God, trust not your thoughts, trust not your dreams, trust not your visions; get acquainted with His Word and with His Son.
What did the prophets say about God?
God is eternal.
“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or even thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90:1-2)
He is eternal, “In the beginning God.” God is everlasting. God is eternal. God always has been and always will be. He’s eternal.
God is the creator.
Genesis 1:1 says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
In John chapter 1 we read; “All things were made by Him; And without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)
“In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
“And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:17)
God is holy.
“God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness.” (Psalm 47:8)
“Who is able to stand before this Holy LORD God?” (1st Samuel 6:20)
Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:1-3; “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.”
Psalm 111:9 says: “Holy and reverend is His name.”
God is unchangeable.
Malachi 3:6: “I am the LORD, I change not.”
“He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? And what his soul desire, even that he doeth.” (Job 23:13)
“The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)
The LORD, “doeth according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35)
He’s unchangeable. He’s immutable.
God is invisible.
“Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.” (1st Timothy 1:17)
When the Lord Jesus talked to the woman at the well and she talked about worshipping in the mountain and the Jews worshipping in Jerusalem, Christ said, “Ye worship ye know not what.” (John 4:22); “God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24)
God is not a statue. That’s the reason we’re not to make any likeness of anything in heaven or earth and fall down before any kind of statue or picture in regard to spiritual things or in regard to God. “God is a Spirit.”
We’re not to worship crucifixes and crosses and statues or any such things. Some may say, “But we need reminders.”
The answer is, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
God is just and God is righteous.
Psalm 145:17 says: “The LORD is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.”
The judge of the earth shall do that which is right (Genesis 18:25), and He will “by no means clear the guilty.” (Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18)
God is Almighty.
“Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased.” (Psalm 115:2-3)
“Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.” (Psalm 135:6)
God is love.
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1st John 4:8)
“God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1st John 4:16)
God is light.
“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (1st John 1:5)
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
God is a Saviour.
David said, “Salvation belongeth to the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people.” (Psalm 3:8)
Jonah in the depths of the whale’s belly cried; “Salvation is of the LORD.” (Jonah 2:9)
God is a Saviour and the only Saviour: And Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 3:23: “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.”
Truly in the LORD our God is salvation. In vain is salvation hoped for in works, in law, in experience, in sacraments, in “church” memberships, in ordinances, and in merit. Truly in the LORD is salvation. He’s a Saviour!
“God spake to our fathers by the prophets.” And God told us through the prophets who He is. He’s eternal. He’s the creator. He is holy. He’s unchangeable. He’s infinite. He’s invisible. He’s just and righteous. He’s almighty, He’s love, He’s light, and He’s a Saviour.
And then God “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.”
What did the Son say?
First of all: The Son said this, “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30); “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
Phillip said, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” And our Lord Jesus said, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and his safest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but that Father that dwellers in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me.” (John 14:8-11)
Jesus Christ is God almighty. He’s not just a representative of God; He is God. He is the blessed image of God almighty. He’s the brightness of His image. He is God.
“Who is the image of the invisible God.” (Colossians 1:15)
In Matthew 1:20-23 when the angel appeared to Joseph to announce the birth of Christ He said; “Fear not to take unto thee Mary to be thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins. Now this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
Emmanuel means what, “God with us” Our Saviour is God. Jesus Christ, (God with us), God in the flesh.
Listen to what God says in John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
And the Word by whom all things were made, for whom all things were made, and that “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Listen to 1st John 5:20, this is one of the most positive Scriptures in the Bible in reference to who Christ is; “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”
God spake to our father’s by the prophets (Hebrews 1:1). God revealed Himself through these prophets. These prophets told the people who God is. Now His Son has come to this earth and His Son says, “Look to me; I am God. I and my Father are one. Would you know God; know Me. Would you come to God; come to Me. Would you understand God; listen to Me.” That’s what the Father said on the Mount of Transfiguration; He said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.” (Matthew 17:5)
“And we know that the Son of God has come and given us an understanding that we may know God that is true and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” (1st John 5:20)
In concluding this study, there are three vital things that are very important for us to know. Jesus Christ is our Prophet, our Priest, and our King.
Jesus Christ, our Prophet.
Moses way back, hundreds of years before Christ came says, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of the, of the brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” (Deuteronony 18:15) This is the prophecy of Christ the Prophet that will come to reveal God more clearly and more perfectly; you shall listen to Him.
Christ said, “No man knoweth whom the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.” (Luke 10:22) Jesus Christ is that anointed, ordained, Prophet to reveal to you and to me who God is.
Would you know God? Know Christ.
Would you look to God by faith? Look to Christ.
Would you have a saving relationship with God? You’ll have to have that saving relationship through Christ.
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we know not wither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5)
Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Christ is the way to God.
Would you know God? Know Christ.
Would you come to God? Come through Christ, He is that Prophet.
Christ is that Priest!
Back in the Old Testament God ordained a high priest. They had a tabernacle out in the wilderness. That tabernacle was made up of two sections. There was the Holy of Holies and there was the Holy Place.
And separating that Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was a heavy veil. In that Holy Place out here there were three pieces of furniture. There was the table of showbread and there was the candlestick and there was the altar of incense and then the heavy veil.
And inside the Holy of Holies; this represented the presence of God, this represented the dwelling place of God. In that Holy of Holies, in that awesome, Holy Place was one piece of furniture. It was called the, “Ark of the Covenant.”
And inside that Ark of the Covenant; it was about two feet long, 18 inches wide and 18 inches high. Inside that Ark of the Covenant was the broken law, Moses’ law, the law God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. It was in that Ark.
Also, in that Ark was some of the manna, the bread from heaven. In that Ark was Aaron’s rod that budded. And overlaying that Ark of the Covenant was a gold mercy seat. The Holy of Holies was about 15 feet by 15 feet by 15 feet, that’s how large it was. And God’s presence was there.
They had their morning sacrifices and evening sacrifices and daily sacrifices and all the different ones that were offered. But once a year on the Day of Atonement the high priest would take a lamb, and outside on the altar, out in front of the tabernacle that lamb would be slayed, its body burned, and the blood caught in a basin.
And that priest would come into the Holy Place and then he would slip under the veil and he would go into the presence of God representing the people, himself and the people.
And he would come to that Ark of the Covenant in which laid the broken law and he would put that blood on top of the mercy seat. And the blood would run down over the mercy seat and drip along the sides.
This represented death, death for sin. This represented a sacrifice for sin. This represented substitution. This represented Christ. And this was done year after year after year on the Day of Atonement.
And then that high priest would slip under the veil and go outside and the people were accepted by the Father. They were received by God.
One day our Lord Jesus came to this earth, our great, High Priest. He went to Calvary’s cross, the Lamb of God. That’s what John the Baptist said there on the River Jordan; he said; “There’s the Lamb of God, there’s the atonement, there’s the sacrifice, there’s the substitute, there’s the one who bears the weight of the sin of the world.”
He went to Calvary’s cross and He died on that cross. He suffered the just for the unjust. He suffered the righteous for the unrighteous. He suffered the sinless for the sinful. He shed His blood and His body was bruised and broken on that tree.
And when He died on that cross, the Scripture says, that veil in the temple; (it was still hanging there) it was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, signifying that the way into the Holiest, the way into the presence of God, was open for you and me.
And now He says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) Boldly because the one sacrifice, the one atonement, the one supreme substitutionary work has been offered and our sins are put away and the way into God’s presence is open for all who will come.
Christ is our Priest. And now we have a High Priest; He’s at the right hand of God. He’s not down here on the earth. We are kings and priests. Christ has made us a priest and we can come into the presence of God and offer sacrifices of praise, prayer, worship, faith, gratitude, and all of these sacrifices. But Christ has opened for us a way into the presence of God.
Christ is our King!
“God also hath highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9)
He’s the Prophet to reveal the Father. He is the Priest that by His blood and by His sacrifice He takes us into the presence of the Father and He is the King who reigns over us. His scepter reigns over all believers.
And He says; “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) And it’s a good kingdom and it’s a precious kingdom!