In Ray’s sermon yesterday, he talked about what God did to teach the Israelites who they were. These beloved children of Abraham had been in Egypt for 400 years, surrounded by Egyptian culture. After God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt, He inspired Moses to write the first five books of the Old Testament. God did not give them only the Law of Moses. He also gave them a history lesson, beginning with the Creation story in Genesis.
In the beginning
God created the heavens and the earth.
The earth was formless and void,
and darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God was moving
over the surface of the waters.
Then God said, “Let there be . . .
From there, God told them the origin of light and the heavens and the earth and the plants and animals—and of us.
As Ray pointed out, every culture has a Creation story. You can hear the secular Creation story in various media any time of the day. Perhaps the Israelites were familiar with the Egyptian Creation story. God wanted the Israelites to know His Creation story—the real one from the One Who was there. God started there to help the Israelites know who they were.
A loving Father wants His children to know and remember who they are. It is easy to forget. Many a parent has called to their children as they head out the door: “Don’t forget who you are!” God doesn’t want His children to forget either.
The first thing God wanted the Israelites to know was that God Himself was in the beginning. He wanted them to know that everything they knew with their five senses was something He had made. He also wanted them to know that each of them—male and female—was created in His image. He wanted them to know the origin of marriage. He wanted them to know that all people were descended from that first married man and woman.
Then, Ray taught us from Psalm 100:
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Make ourselves? We live in a culture where people want to make themselves in their own image or in the image of some popular icon. It is not our place to make ourselves, and if we could do that, what a comedown it would be. We are made in the image of our loving Almighty God.
The Israelites needed to know who they were. We need to know who we are, and our children do, too. I am thankful that you can teach these first things to your children every day.
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.