This will determine whether we will overcome problems, hardships in life. This is what Ligon Duncan in his preaching called we need theology when we face problems, challenges, hardships in life. What an amazing strong statement indeed that we need to have in life.
When Moses faced problems and pushback from Pharoah in his first attempt to deliver Israel from the bondage of Egypt, he was so discouraged and even questioned God. And this is Moses!
Exodus 5:22–6:5 (NIV)
22 Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? 23 Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Moses asked Gid “Why have you brought trouble on this people?” That’s a bold question to the Lord! And that’s Moses. God responded to him, and He needed to, as Pharoah just hardened his heart and increased more load for Israelites in picking their own straw to make bricks. So, what Moses did in his attempt to deliver Israel in his debut showing with Pharoah the most powerful person on earth that time, has backfired!
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
2 God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
God revealed to Moses his covenantal Name, ‘the LORD”. Not just God, which is his function. But His name is “the LORD”. Yahweh. His personal Name. Now we come to the juicy part—God reveals to Moses the way out of this mess! The answer is His Name, the Covenantal Name of God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob , now to Moses, and in fact, eventually, now to us in our 21st century churches!
Why is this important?
This is what theology all about. I have a huge passion to bridge Theology & Church, as opposed to using contemporary culture primarily and using the gospel superimposed, or juxtaposition, to be presented to the secular world. That may be cool for the non-believing world. In this article, I will focus on the believing world. What do we do when we face problems? Like Moses came back to God discouraged, angry an upset with God?
The solution is theology. Do you know God’s personal covenantal name? God told Moses He will deliver Israel out of Egypt because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and hence to Moses. God re-assured Moses. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
You see this is what God answered Moses: I have heard their groaning. The Lord cares. And He remembered his covenant. That’s a big word, that’s the promises of God that’s unbreakable.
The problem we have today as Christians is that many times we somehow, have this tendency to construct our self-image of who God is , due to distractions, in life and being tossed back and forth. The problem with our imagery of God is this: it crumbles in the face of temptations, in the face of darkness, doubts, doubts, negative influence, bad company, hardship, sickness, loneliness, etc. it crumbles because it’s fake. It’s idolatry our self made gods. But only the covenant God who said to Abraham I am the Lord your great reward, will stand tall and deliver you!
Thomas Goodwin of Oxford University says it’s because of our because of our barren knowledge of God. Because of our barren knowledge of God! Our hearts are scarce of Christ. The amount of Christ in our hearts is dependent of our knowledge, personal knowledge of Christ.
Like Moses and Israel, they may know the God of Israel, but not much on the covenantal God, the Lord, Yahweh.
We must have more theology in our minds, so that they may have a chance to even get it to our hearts, so that we can face problems in life in confidence because we know personally the covenant God in Christ. Christ is our prophet, priest, and King now in our lives.
Our mentally constructed god in our minds are not God at all. They are what we want to be our God who provides and helps us as we wanted him to be, but not wanting any God who can confront us, challenge us, and hence transformed to Christ. Our self-constructed god is idolatry, and they will never transform our hearts, our lives.
Eph 3 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul’s praying that the Lord may strengthen us with power through his Spirit in our inner being. Every change must begin with our minds, then our inner being. Minds alone won’t cut it. It must come down to our inner being. Pray! We want Christ to dwell in our hearts through faith. So that we may have power to grasp how wide, long, high and deep is the love of Christ. Did you notice, just to grasp, not just to understand, the love of Christ, we need supernatural power from the Holy Spirit? Because you are not dealing with some human passion love, but this is the divine love of Christ! We need that power. To grasp, not just to understand. It means like a light bulb just gone off! You said “Aha!” We need the covenantal Name of God understanding in our hearts and minds as God revealed to and corrected Moses.