Who is Yahweh: Constantly Present in the Land of Your Afflictions
Yahweh has revealed Himself to us firstly as a personal and relational God (Genesis 2:4). He proves this time and time again throughout the generations of men as He is constantly seeking true worshippers (John 4:23).
God is personal, and as a personal God, He is with us in the land of our affliction. This is a beautiful thing, let's learn a bit more about Yahweh.
First, we must take a look at how Israel got to where they were. Joseph the favorite son of Jacob was sold into slavery in Egypt. He had some blessings there but also many afflictions. Yet, it seems clear to me that Joseph saw his whole stay in Egypt as an affliction, for Egypt was not the promised land of Cannan, it was the Land of his affliction.
We see this in the naming of his second son, Ephriam, "For, God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction" (Genesis 41:51). This was after Joseph was the right-hand man of Pharaoh for seven years. He was blessed beyond our wildest dreams. Yet, Egypt was still the land of his affliction.
This is because it wasn't the promised land that God promised the nation of Israel. In Exodus 3, fast-forward the narrative 430 years. Moses is born, raised in Pharaoh's household, a shepherd in the wilderness, and now speaks with God in a burning bush.
God reveals Himself in the burning bush as Yahweh, "I am who I am" He says (Exodus 3:14). In other words, "I am who I've always been." Yahweh is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the God of Joseph, and He is the personal God of Israel. Yahweh walked with Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Noah just as He walked with the fathers of Israel.
He was, is, and always will be. Yahweh is God and desires to be remembered by this name, the personal God who walks with men in the land of affliction (Exodus 3:15). Every generation is to know Him by this name, Yahweh the relational God who walks with us in the land of our afflictions.
Here in the context of Exodus 3, God is promising to bring His people out of the land of their afflictions and into the land He promised them. Anything that is not the promised land for the nation of Israel is the land of their afflictions. For us today, for Christians, God has promised us a land whose builder and maker is God.
A heavenly home, to which we are citizens of (Phillippians 3:20-21). This is what we are promised. So anything that is not heaven, is the land of our affliction. Just as Yahweh walked with the nation of Israel and was constantly present with them in the land of their affliction, He will walk with us in the land of our afflictions.
This is AMAZING! We have the privilege of walking with Yahweh and Him walking with us in this land of affliction. Yet, like Paul in Philippians 1:21-26 we say, I desire to be at home with God, yet, its better for this world that we remain here in the land of our affliction. We have work to do, a kingdom to expand, and the Savior and Lord to testify about. So, work in this land of affliction until you find yourself in that celestial kingdom in the presence of Yahweh.