Summary notes from Week 1 of A Woman’s Heart ~ God’s Dwelling Place
After the fall, God’s word tells us that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5-6). Apart from fellowship with God, the human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17: 9-10) God’s answer to this increasing corruption on the earth was to confuse our language and scatter humankind throughout the earth. (Genesis 11:7-8)
Yet even though we were no longer in Eden, and our wickedness and corruption grieved the very heart of God (Genesis 6:6), God still pursued us for fellowship with Him! This was the reason behind God’s command to Moses to “let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.” (Exodus 25:8-9)
Even more exciting, we can see amazing evidence of how God preached the gospel of Christ “beforehand” (reference Galatians 3:8) to both Abraham and Moses (this is so amazing to me!):
Consider the following details in the story of Abram/Abraham:
1. God’s covenant with Abram: “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
2. God’s test of Abraham regarding the sacrifice of his son Isaac: “He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering…” (Genesis 22:2)
• This is the first instance of the word “love” in the Bible, and is used to describe the unique feeling of a father towards his only son.
3. Isaac’s question and Abraham’s response: “And Isaac said to his father Abraham, … ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.'” (Genesis 22:7-8)
• God does provide for himself the lamb that takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29) because this is how much he loves the world (John 3:16).
4. God provides a sacrifice instead of Isaac: “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns…So Abraham called the name of that place, ‘The LORD will provide’…” (Genesis 22:13-14)
• Many sources say that the thicket described in this passage was likely a thornbush. The prophet Zechariah spoke of Jesus as “the horn of salvation for us” (Luke 1:69). God did provide a sacrifice instead of us, the horn of our salvation whose head was also wrapped in thorns.
Consider the following details in the story of God revealing His Name to Moses:
1. God’s initial call of Moses: “And he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” (Exodus 3: 6)
• God initially reveals His identity in terms of Israel’s forefathers, the Patriarchs. He sets the stage so Moses and the people of Israel will recognize that He is already in relationship with them as a people.
2. God’s continued explanation of His identity: “Then the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry…I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them…” (Exodus 3: 7-8)
• God continues to reveal Himself with the details of His pursuit of the people of Israel.
3. Moses’ question to God and God’s response: “Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM…This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.'” (Exodus 3:13-14, 15)
• God is not being intentionally vague here or providing a riddle for Moses to solve. In Hebrew, the last part of this name “WHO I AM” is similar to using an active verb form (like adding -ing to the end of a verb, ex. “talking”or “running”). God is describing himself by His actions and these actions are continual. Not only that, but this is His name forever and His name will always mean all of these things.
• And what are His actions? One could say He is seeing, He is hearing, He is knowing, and He is coming down to save (vs 7-8).
This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. God sees us in our sin, He hears our prayers for mercy, He knows our hearts, and He comes down to save us through the sacrifice of His only son, Jesus. He does this now and forever.
Viewer Guide answers (pages 28 & 29 of your study book):
tree, river, mountain
serve, wilderness; walking back, forth, presence, tabernacle; work, care, Eden, tabernacle; naked, crafty
visible earth, visible heavens, dwelling of God