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Can We Really Know God?

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“Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” ESV

The judgment on the Egyptians was God’s way of demonstrating that He wanted a relationship with His people (the Israelites). God wanted them to know what He could and would do for them. He didn’t want them to just know of Him. He wanted them to know Him. There is a great distinction between knowing God exists and actually knowing Him.

If I were to show you a picture of my husband, John, you’d be able to recognize him if he came in the room. You might say, “That’s John Schryber.” You might even be able to recount certain things you’d heard about him—that he’s a lawyer, that he has three grown children, that he loves the St. Louis Cardinals! But you couldn’t say, “I know John Schryber.” That would require more than seeing his picture and knowing a few facts about him. That would require having a relationship with him.

God’s desire was to have a relationship with the Israelites. If He intervened in their lives by rescuing them from bondage, and if He kept His covenant with them, they would begin to know Him in a personal way. They would want to worship and serve Him. Therefore, before every plague, God gave the pharaoh the reason He wanted them to be free. It wasn’t just to have a nice home, a prosperous life, and freedom from the pain of slavery. God said: “Let my people go so that they will serve Me.” In some translations of the Bible, it’s “so they will worship Me.”

God’s purpose for freedom was spiritual, not physical. It was to be in personal relationship with Him. By demonstrating His power and releasing them, His people would truly know Him as God and desire to be in His presence and serve Him. It was—and still is—God’s desire that we know Him, not just know of Him.

Today I Pray - Lord, I confess I've failed to take the time to really know You. Forgive me. I have faith that You will reveal Yourself if I will just seek You.

Excerpt from HIStory in 30 Days: Genesis to Revelation with Daily Devotionals. Copyright © 2017 Carole O. Schryber. Used with permission.

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About The Author


Carole Schryber was an attorney in New York who gave up the practice of law to devote herself to studying and teaching Scripture. She has used her research and analytical skills from the study of law for inductive Bible study. For the past 15 years she has been a Christian teacher, speaker, and writer. Her talk, “Genesis to Revelation in 60 Minutes,” was the impetus for the book ​​​​​​​HIStory in 30 Days: Genesis to Revelation. She regularly speaks and teaches at her home church, McLean Bible in the Washington D.C. area, in addition to other churches. She had been the Associate Teaching

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