WHAT DO YOU MEAN – THE LORD IS ONE

by Hermanus W. Smeenk


Introduction

In Deuteronomy 6:4, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, saying:  “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord…”  However, when we read other passages in the Bible we find many references to another deity.  Did Moses lie or are there errors in the Bible, or did Moses mean something different than the way it is interpreted by many people?  Many people are of the opinion that we must take this verse literally—but in so doing they deny the truth of many other passages in the Bible.  So, what is the answer to this enigma?

Truth Hidden From Israel

In Isaiah 6:1-5, 8-12 the prophet writes:  “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirts thereof filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:  his glory is the fullness of the earth.  And the posts of the thresholds moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, woe is me!  For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts....Also, I heard the voice of the Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’  Then said I, here am I, send me.  And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear you indeed, but understand not; and see you indeed, but perceive not.  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn and be healed.  Then said I, Lord how long?  And He answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.  And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land….”  [The time has not yet come for Israel to be healed except for those few who God is calling out now and preparing to be among the first-fruits to rule with Jesus when He returns in the day of the Lord.]

Also in Acts 28: 25-27, after the Jews in Rome could not agree among themselves concerning the words spoken by Paul, he told them:  “Well spoke the Holy Spirit by Isaiah the prophet to our fathers saying: ‘Go to this people, and say, Hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing you shall see, and not perceive.  For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be turned and I should heal them….”  And in Romans 11:25-26, Paul adds:  “For I would not, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceit; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.  And so all Israel shall be saved as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.  For this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins.…’”

Paul tells us that Israel would be blind “in part”, so they would have some knowledge of the truth, but will be blind to much of the truth.  Isaiah also writes in Chapter 28:9-13, “…Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine?  Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.  To whom he said, ‘this is the rest where with you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken….”  Paul, furthermore, quotes David from Psalm 69:22 in Romans 11:9-10 where he writes:  “…And David said; ‘Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling-block, and a recompense to them:  let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back always….’”

“The Wise Shall Understand”

Daniel, after listening to the angel describing the whole course of events down to the end-time writes in Daniel 12:10 the conversation as follows: “…And I heard, but I understood not:  then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?  And he said, Go your way Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand ….”  Peter adds in II Peter 3:15-16, speaking of Paul’s epistles:  “…even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.”

Who are the wise that will understand?  In Proverbs 1:7, God inspired Solomon to write:  “…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge….”  and in Proverbs 2:1-9 Solomon continues:  “…My son, if you will receive my words, and hide my commandments with you; so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry after knowledge, and lift up your voice to understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you shall understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.  He lays up sound wisdom for the righteous:   He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.  He keeps the paths of judgment, and preserves the way of his saints.  Then shall you understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yes, and every good path….”

Who are the “unlearned” spoken of by Peter?  These are those that do not have an understanding of the Bible, that do not fear the Lord.  In other words--the direct opposite of the wise.  The unlearned put their own interpretations into the Bible and the writings of the Apostles to support their own beliefs.  They create great confusion and all their teachings are confusion and deceive many of God’s people.  God is not the author of confusion, man is, because he injects all of his biases and preconceived notions into the scriptures.  (I Corinthians 14:33)  They do not understand that to obtain a proper understanding of the writings, it is necessary to study the entire Bible, to become intimately familiar with its precepts so that you can recognize where one thought complements another and your understanding will be increased.   Remember that Isaiah instructed that the truth of God is scattered throughout the scriptures, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.  It is like searching out small treasures and collecting each one of them into one treasure chest.  So, instead of putting our own interpretation into the words of the Bible, let’s see what the Bible reveals about God.  Many of us may have to adjust our thinking to be in harmony with the teachings of the Bible.

“Study To Show Yourself Approved”

In II Timothy 2:15 Paul tells Timothy:  “…Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth….”  Also, in Acts 17:10-11, we find an example set by the Bereans that we would all do well to emulate.  Luke writes that:  “…the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night to Berea: who upon arrival went into the synagogue of the Jews.  These [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things [that Paul and Silas preached] were so….”  Too many people, upon hearing something different than what they believe, immediately begin to argue against these things rather than to go to the Bible to verify or to disprove what they are being told.  Conversely, tell them something they want to believe and they’re ready to accept whatever is handed to them without an argument or verifying the truth of it in the Bible.  Be circumspect, both when anyone shares a truth with you as well as when someone is trying to deceive you.  The truth can only be found in the Bible.  Jesus, in his prayer to the Father asked Him to sanctify his disciples through the Father’s truth for “…Your word is truth….”  Therefore, according to Jesus, the only way we can be sanctified is through the Bible and so, we must learn to identify the truth from the Bible, not through the reasoning of men.  So, let us now go to the Bible and learn what truth we can learn from the Bible.  Does the Bible support the doctrine of the existence of ONLY ONE GOD or Deity or does it clearly identify TWO DEITIES--one who is known as the Most High or El Eljon and another, a second-in-command who became known as the God or King of Israel, who represents the Most High and ensures that His will is carried out? 

Christ Pre-Existed Creation

In the gospel account of John 1:1-5 and 14, John records that:  “…In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  He made all things; and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth….”  John also tells us in John 1:18 that:  “…No man has seen God [the Father] at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”  Thus, according to the account of the Apostle John, the Word who became flesh as the only begotten Son of the Father, was with God in the beginning, and created all things that we see and experience, both the visible and the invisible.  The Word, or Logos in the Greek language, was the spokes-person for God, according to John.

Keep in mind that the Lord dictated the books of the law to Moses on Mt. Sinai and while the children of Israel traveled through the wilderness.  Therefore, all the words of the books of the law came straight from the Word or spokes-person as the Lord (Jesus) is called by the Apostle John.  We have the Word in writing rather than in His person.  The Word that we have provides us with a complete description of His character.  This is what Jesus was talking about when He told His disciples (and us) that, unless we ate His body and drank His blood, we would have no eternal life in us.  Therefore, we must study and inject into our minds His every word (His body) and drink His blood (the life that we receive when we live by his every word).  We are given life by emulating Jesus and the saints of God that have gone before us and by practicing all that God has revealed to us in the Bible.  Also, the more we take the Bible into us, the more Jesus will live in us because we will be developing His character in ourselves.

Who Or What Is The Angel Of The Lord?

With this as a background, let’s go to Genesis 1:26 where we read:  “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”  Reading this verse in conjunction with John 1:1-5, we can see who is doing the talking, the Most High is discussing making man with the Word.  Already we can understand from these verses that there are two deities.  But, to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind, let’s look at more examples.   In Genesis 16:7 and 9-11 we first come across a reference to the angel of the Lord.  Hagar had fled from Sarai because she had treated Hagar very harshly.  “…And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur….And the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Return to your mistress and submit yourself under her hands.’  And the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘I will multiply your seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.’  And the angel of the Lord said to her, ‘Behold you are with child, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction.’”  In verses 7 through 11, the Lord told Moses to write “…And the Angel of the Lord….”  Who is this angel of the Lord?  The word “angel” means, “messenger”.  Therefore, we can also say: “…And the messenger of the Lord….”  Now who is this messenger?  We find our first clue in Chapter 16:13 where Moses wrote:  “…And she called the name of the Lord that spoke to her, You God saw me: for she said, have I also here looked after him that saw me?”  Hagar knew that the angel of the Lord was the God of Abraham because he had appeared more than once to Abraham.  [Only God could tell Hagar that “I will multiply your seed….”  Anyone else does not have either the authority or the power to make that happen.  So here is a clue as to the identity of the angel of the Lord.]  Therefore, we read that “…she called the name of the Lord that spoke to her….”  We find here then that the messenger of the Lord was the God of Abraham.  Messengers are those individuals that carry messages from those in authority to the ones for whom the message is intended (John 13:16).  If the God of Abraham was a messenger he could only have been a messenger for someone greater than He.  Therefore, He was fulfilling the role of a messenger for the Most High, who is also called the Lord or the Eternal.  Throughout the Bible, we find that the Most High and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob shared the same name in many instances.  The only name they never shared was the Most High, El Eljon.  The Most High only has that name because there is none higher than He.  So, what this chapter tells us is that the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was a messenger in this instance from the Most High who later became the Father.  Let’s look at some more examples.

In Genesis 22 we read the story of how God commanded Abraham to take his son, Isaac, and offer him up for a burnt offering.  Just at the moment that Abraham started to plunge the knife into Isaac we find that in Genesis 22:11 and 15 - 17 the “…angel of the Lord called to him out of heaven, and said ‘Abraham, Abraham’ and he said, ‘Here am I’…And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham out of heaven the second time and said ‘By myself have I sworn, said the Lord [the Most High], for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.  And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice….’”  In these verses, we again find that the messenger of the Lord brings Abraham a message from the Most High.  What Abraham did was a foreshadow of what the Father would later do for His only son, except in that case, His son would die and there would be none to save him from the death of the cross.  We know that the message is from the Most High because He said “…by myself have I sworn….”  Since there was none higher, the Most High swore by Himself.

Jacob, also, when he blessed Joseph and his sons in Genesis 48:15-16 said:  “…God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long to this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth…”  Here we see that Jacob also knew the God of Abraham and Isaac as the angel of the Lord or the messenger from the Most High.  Remember, only God can bless and cause them to grow into a multitude.

In Exodus 3:2-6 we again read another instance about an appearance of the angel of the Lord.  Moses wrote:  “And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he [Moses] looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.  And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.”  Now, in verse 4 we read:  Now when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him from the midst of the bush…”   Here God identifies the angel of the Lord as Himself 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 upon God. (verse 6)”  There can now no longer be any doubt as to the identity of the angel of the Lord.  God clearly spells it out here that He, Himself, is the angel of the Lord.  There can hardly be any doubt now that there are two deities, the Most High, and his messenger, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel.  The God who appeared to Moses, gave the Law from Mt. Sinai, married Israel, punished Israel again and again for their idolatries, and rescued them again and again when they called on Him.  He is also that same One who became flesh and walked among men for 33 ½ years as Jesus, the son of the Most High.  However, for the skeptics, lets look at some more examples.

“Then You Shall Know That He Sent Me”

Let’s turn to Zechariah 2:6-9 and 11 where the prophet writes:  “…Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord… (verse 6).  (Remember who is talking here, the Lord is talking to Israel.)  “…Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon (verse 7).”  For thus says the Lord of hosts:  “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye… (verse 8).”  (Who is talking?  The Lord of hosts.  Who is sending him?  HE sent me…only someone greater than the Lord of hosts can send Him, that someone can only be the MOST HIGH, He who is greater than the Lord of hosts!  Let’s continue.)  “…For surely I [the Lord of Hosts] will shake My hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants.  Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Me… (verse 9).” (In this verse the MOST HIGH is also called THE LORD OF HOSTS.  As I mentioned before, the Most High and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, often share the same name.  Here is a case in point.)  “…Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people.  And I will dwell in your midst.  Then you will know that the LORD of  HOSTS has sent Me to you… (verse 11).”  How much clearer can God make this to show that there are two deities, the Most High and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who works directly with his people Israel.

Someone might ask:  "What about Isaiah and Ezekiel, didn't they see the Lord on His throne in heaven?"  yes they did, but they only saw a small portion of heaven and saw only the God of Israel and a number of holy angels with Him.  Let's look at those passages in Isaiah and Ezekiel to find out what they saw.  In Isaiah 6: 1, 5, 8-9 we read that:  "In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple….So I said:  'Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts'…Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: '." Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?'   Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'  And He said, "Go and tell this people [Israel]:  keep on hearing , but do not understand…'"  In Ezekiel 1:26-28 we read:  "And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it.  Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around.  Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking…."  So, did Isaiah and Ezekiel see the Most High?  We must let the Bible interpret the Bible.  Let Jesus, Himself, tell us and He does in John 6:46.  Jesus tells the Jews around Him, speaking of the Father:  "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father…."  Did Jesus forget about Isaiah and Ezekiel writing that they had seen the Lord, the King, and the Lord of hosts sitting on His throne?  No, Jesus did not make any mistakes.  As Paul wrote in Romans 3:4  "…let God be true but every man a liar…"  We must believe every word that proceeds from the mouth of Jesus.  If He tells us that no one has seen the Father, then what ever prior notions we had about that need to be adjusted to coincide with what Jesus tells us.  Therefore, the Lord of hosts, the King, who was seen on His throne by Isaiah and Ezekiel was none other than the God of Israel and not the Most High.  In the quote from Isaiah, I bolded and underlined the word "Us".  I wanted you to notice that the Lord of hosts did not say "Who will go for Me" but "Who will go for Us", so He must have been talking about both Himself and the Most High.  Remember that He is the spokes-person for the Most High.  

The Father Spoke Many Times In The Bible

We find in Psalm 110 David writing a prophecy inspired by the Most High concerning the time after that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected by the Father.  David writes [and this is the Most High who speaks through David] “The Lord [the Most High] said unto my Lord [David’s Lord and Jesus], sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.  The Lord [the Most High] shall send the rod of your strength out of Zion: you shall rule in the midst of your enemies.  Your people shall be willing in the day of your power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning; you have the dew of your youth.  The Lord [the Most High] has sworn, and will not repent, ‘You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.  The Lord at your [the Most High] right hand [Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father] shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath [the day of the Lord].  He [the Most High is still speaking] shall judge among the nations, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.  He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall He lift up the head.”

We also see the Most High instructing Zechariah to tell Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest in chapter 6:12-13:  “…And speak to him saying, ‘Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying [the Most High introduces Jesus] Behold the man whose name is the BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both [as a king and a priest]….’”  There are many other passages in the Bible where the Most High speaks to the prophets, but these examples should suffice.

Then What Do You Mean “I And The Father Are One”?

Jesus told the Jews around him in John 11:29-30, “…My Father, which gave them [his sheep] to me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one….”  Again, in John 14:9-11, Jesus tells Philip:  “…Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip?  He that has seen me, has seen the Father; and how say you then, show us the Father?  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  The words that I speak to you I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwells in me, He does the works.  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:  or else believe me for the very works sake….”  Some individuals are convinced that the Father and the Son are one and the same individuals, especially when they read the verses just quoted.  However, that would make other statements in the Bible contradictory to these verses but there are neither errors nor contradictions in the Bible, for as Jesus said “Your Word is Truth”.  Any apparent contradictions are those that contradict our preconceived notions and misinterpretations of the Bible.  Let’s look at some statements in the writings of the Apostles that contradict the notion that the Father and the Son are one and the same person.

In Hebrews 7:22-25 the writer tells us:  “…By so much was Christ made a surety of a better covenant.  And they truly were many priests, because they could not continue by reason of death.  But this man, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.  Wherefore he is able to save them evermore that come to God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them….”  1)  If Jesus and the Father were one and the same person, how would one explain the fact that Jesus Christ is a high priest for us to the Father.  These, of necessity, must be two separate individuals.  2) If Jesus and the Father were one and the same person, how can you explain that Jesus serves as our intercessor to the Father.  Again, these, of necessity, must be two separate individuals.  Again, in Revelation 3:21, Jesus tells those of the church of Laodicea:  “…To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father is His throne...”  Christ will grant those who overcome to sit in his throne [help him rule] established on Mount Zion when He returns to establish His rulership over Israel, even as He also overcame and now sits with the Father in His throne.  If Jesus and the Father were one and the same person, Jesus Christ would not have said that He sits with the Father but that He is back on His throne in heaven.  We see again, that Jesus and the Father must be  two separate persons, not one and the same person.

In John 13:16, Jesus told His disciples “…Truly I say to you, the servant is not greater than his lord; neither is he that is sent greater than he that sent him….”  Again in John 14:28, Jesus explains:  “…You have heard how I said to you, I go away, and come again to you.  If you loved me, you would rejoice, because I said I go to the Father; for my Father is greater than I….” If the Father and the Son are one and the same person, how can the Father be greater than the Son?  If they are the same, of necessity, they would both be equally great.  But now is the Father greater than the Son and therefore, they must be two separate individuals.  So how can Jesus then say that “My Father and I are One”, and “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”?  When Jesus said that He and the Father are One, he was not talking about them being one and the same person.  What He was talking about was that He and the Father are so much alike in their character, their thinking, their love for one another and all mankind, that they, in essence, are of one mind and one will and that is what makes them One.  Let’s go back to John 17:20-21 where Jesus prays to the Father (the real Lord’s prayer): “…Neither pray I for these alone, but also for them which shall believe on me through their word.  That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you have sent me…. (Sounds like a repeat of Zechariah 2:6-9 and 11, doesn’t it?)

Jesus prayed for His disciples and those who would believe their messages that they might be one with each other even as He and the Father are one.  No one has ever said or believed that Jesus' disciples and their disciples would all become one and the same person.  No one has a problem understanding that Jesus meant with this that his disciples would become one in their thinking, their attitude, and in their will, that they would all have the same goal and would achieve that goal in the same manner.  Jesus, Himself, explained in His prayer to the Father what He means when He says that He and the Father are One. “You in Me and I in You.”  This can only mean that He shares the Father’s character, will, and love [You in Me] and the Father shares that also with Jesus [and I in You].

The Meaning Of “The Lord Is One”

As previously stated, in Deuteronomy 6:4 Moses wrote:  “…Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord….”  So, how can we say that there are two deities, the Most High and His Messenger, the God of Israel, when this verse clearly states that the Lord our God is one Lord?  Let’s look carefully at what Moses wrote.  “Hear, O Israel…”  Moses is speaking to Israel.  Moses, himself was also an Israelite, from the tribe of Levi.  Therefore, Moses continues “…The Lord our God…” not “your God” but “our God  “…is one Lord…”  Who is this God?  The same God who was a close friend of Abraham, the same God with whom Isaac and Jacob walked.  The same God whom Hagar, Jacob and Moses called the Angel of the Lord.  The God who revealed Himself by the name of El Shaddai [the God who provides] to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  This is the God who is one Lord.  There was no other God who walked and talked with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses.The Lord dealt exclusively with Israel.Although the patriarchs knew about the Most High, it was the God of Israel that watched over them, provided for them, blessed them, multiplied them, and protected them.  Jacob’s wife, Rachel, stole the household gods from Laban, her father.  Jacob buried these idols when God commanded him to bring his family together at Bethel where God would extend the covenant he made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to Jacob’s family.  When the Israelites were in Egypt, they worshiped the gods of Egypt, and even after all the great signs that God performed for them in the wilderness, they quickly went back into idol worship when Moses took longer to return from Mr. Sinai than they had expected.  The Israelites worshiped many gods because they believed that each god had control over only one aspect in their lives.  God scolds them about this very thing in the book of Isaiah.

In Isaiah 45:20-21, God inspires Isaiah to write:  “…Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you that are escaped of the nations; they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray to a god that cannot save.  Tell them, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together; who has declared this from ancient times?  Who has told it from that time?  Have not I, the Lord?  And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior, there is none beside me….”  The whole context here is that Israel has been worshiping idols instead of the true God who is able to do all things.  Those images of wood and stone God tells them are nothing and can do nothing.  Only He is real and is able to do everything their idols are unable to do.  It is for this reason that God inspired Moses to tell the children of Israel:  “…Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is One Lord….”  He alone must you worship, forsaking all your idols who are not gods, but the Lord, He is our God.  Continue to read the next chapter titled "Where Is Israel?"



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