13th March 2015

Exodus: Invited By Name

For anyone even slightly familiar with the Bible, the name ‘Exodus’ evokes images of the Israelites being freed from slavery and crossing the Red Sea into freedom. The word is still used today to describe the movement en masse of people from one place to another.

Maybe fewer know that in the original Hebrew bible, this book is called ‘The Book of Names’ because the title is taken from the first sentence which reads ‘These are the names of …’

In Exodus, names are very important. For example, Moses means ‘drawn out’ because he was saved from the waters of the River Nile and he would later be used by God to draw the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt; Pharaoh is without a name because he is a faceless, ruthless person who has lost all sense of humanity.

When Moses encounters God in the burning bush, He dares ask Him for His name. The Lord answers by saying ‘I am who I am’. He needs no qualification: the Lord is the source of all life, without beginning and without an end. Later on He would give Moses and actual snapshot of His character: the compassionate Lord, slow to anger and abounding in love and mercy (Ex 34:6). To know God’s name is to know Him. No wonder the angel made sure that the name Jesus was given to the infant to be born in Bethlehem since He is truly the God who saves His people from their sins (Matt 1:21), enabling us to enter into a personal relationship with Him.

In biblical thought the name of a person was very significant. We are told that God knows us by name: And now, thus says Yahweh, he who created you, Jacob, who formed you, Israel: Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine Is. 43:1

And it is by your name that God invites you to draw close to Him in this Lent, to find the pathway to freedom and to deepen your relationship with Him. We invite you to join us for this year’s ‘Exodus Ezercizzi’ between the 23rd-27th March at Gattard House, starting at 7.30 p.m.