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The Inside Guide to Knowing God

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Know yourself

We read in Exodus 3.1-22 that Moses had moved on from being engaged to political life in Egypt to be minding sheep. Quite a come down. Yet... in a mysterious way it would prepare him well for the future.

Moses was minding his own business MINDING SHEEP(!) when along came the voice of God!

  • unexpected he was looking after his father-in-law's sheep
  • unanticipated he had never heard the voice of God before
  • unprepared he didn't know how to react cf young Samuel! 1 Sam 3.1,7-9 page 261-262

God can enter our lives quite sudddenly and dramatically. And whether we have had a previous encounter or not, the experience can leave us changed or unchanged.

Moses had a fortunate start in life, if a little dangerous at times. You recall how he was born a boy in a society which didn't dare have boys. The good start was that he had an enterprising mother and a courageous sister and his seeming early death was avoided. When he grew too big to hide, he was put in the reed basket to float by the Egyptian Princess. Little did his mother know how important her son would become. As he floated on the waters of the Nile, the rough dangers of life, several hands were there to reach out to him. The invisible hand of God was the most significant.

Do you know yourself?

Whose hands are reaching out to influence your future today?

  • Family hands
  • Community leaders' hands
  • God's invisible hands?

Know the Scriptures

Moses had no scriptures to read or study or believe. At best he had heard the stories of his ancestors Abraham Isaac and Jacob from the lips of his mother who had been his nurse in Pharoah's household. He knew who he was, his family has made sure of that; and he had begun to realise what he was "meant" to do with his life: he had even made a stumbling start to it by defending a Hebrew against an Egyptian Taskmaster! He has been able to do this because he knew his story, the story that would become the scriptures.

Do you know your scriptures?

Do you know your place in God's story?

  • When did you last open a Bible to read it?
  • When did you last take advice about how to understand it (in books or in groups)
  • How do you open your life to what the Bible teaches us?

Know the Voice of God

God introduced himself to Moses in a very straightforward way: this was the way it would be through Moses' life. He became familiar with the voice.

Some today claim to hear the voice of God; I don't. But I do get an idea which has a sense of timeliness and rightness about it that I must follow it; to me that is an urging of God: and his voice is there too, within that idea.

To hear the voice is a unique gift: Deut 4.32-33 on page 175 says 32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed., Dt 4:32-33 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984).

Such a voice needs profound questioning: because the greatest danger in the world is that we hear what we want to hear.

Do you know the voice of God?

Do you heed what he says:

  • in scripture
  • in godly counsel
  • in applied teaching

Know the Name of God

Moses' encounter with God including the unique moment of God's name being revealed.

Just because we say God doesn't mean we are talking about the same entity: All peoples have always had gods; what makes God whom we worship (with an upper case G) different from god that they worship (with a lower case g)? It is that the God whom we worship has made himself known by his name; encouraging an encounter with the living God rather than discouraging it

The Hebrew word became very special "the tetragrammaton": unpromouncable, vowels omitted when printed giving: yhwh

This was the name that was not to be taken in vain.

This was the name that he placed on his people

This was the name that he gave to Moses.

Do you respect the name of God?

Do you honour it in..

  • your conversation
  • your use of all connected with that name e.g. church, salvation,holiness
  • your prayers: addressing one prayer to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
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