June 24, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
Manifesting the Name
“I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world.Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me.”
Almost 1500 years earlier, Moses had requested, in a bold display of faith, “Shew me Thy glory.” (Ex 33:18). In response to this, God declared, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you” (v 19). In chapter 34:5 God proclaimed His name to Moses, as He hid him in the cleft of the rock. Thus, the glory of God is revealed in His Name. God proclaimed: “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” (Ex 34:6,7)
We need not stop and ask which ‘name’ the Lord Jesus revealed to His disciples: God, Jehovah, I am, or Father. He gave a full revelation of the character of God. He displayed for them – and for us – all that God is. His life, but perhaps more especially, His death has declared the glory of God, His Name.
About 700 years earlier, God had promised, through Isaiah, that “My people shall know My name. Therefore they shall know in that day that I am He that doth speak. Behold it is I.” (Isa 52:6) God fulfilled in His perfect Servant-Son, His promise to the nation. A full display of all the virtues of God can be seen in His life.
Yet if it were only His life, there is something of God we would never have known. It took the cross to complete the full revelation, the complete and perfect manifestation of His Name to us. His every attribute is on display at Calvary: His grace, love, holiness, wisdom, power, longsuffering, and mercy – to name the most obvious. So while the cross is the death calculated to impose the greatest shame on its victim, it is really the display of God’s glory. Nothing, not creation, Passover redemption, seas dividing, walls tumbling, armies decimated, or lepers healed and blind seeing – nothing could so fully reveal His glory as does Calvary!
Although the Lord Jesus was speaking in the upper room prior to the cross, His words are anticipative of what was before Him. Calvary was an accomplished ‘fact’ from eternity past. There was no possibility of failure.
1. What was the response of Moses when God did manifest His Name to Him? There are at least two things which marked him and should mark us.
2. “Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me.” In what sense were they God’s before they became His? Is it that they were faithful Jews who worshiped God and awaited the Messiah?
3. Moses manifested God’s Name – “the I Am” – in bringing Israel out of Egypt. Christ is seen manifesting His Father’s Name to Israelites to bring them out of Israel, and actually, apart from the world (v 16) morally.