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What's in a Name Part Thirteen

By Pastor Phillip Howle
web posted April 22, 2015

RELIGION – Thanks so much for all of the prayers over the last two weeks! We had a great time teaching in Asia and I can’t wait to go back next year. There is a great need for theological training in the area where we went. We were in a city of 9 million and where just five years ago it was less than one percent Christian, and is now about five percent Christian. The excitement and growth of the church was phenomenal. The main thing that they are lacking is the training of leaders for the church and you all made it possible for me to play a small role in helping with solving that problem.

One of the most unique opportunities that we had was being able to teach at a Christian conference for about 250 believers from 200 different churches. It was a little intimidating, one with just the size of the crowd and two with security. (pictured above)  The owner of the hotel was a Christian and we were able to have a room without registering or having to check our passports. Still, three white boys stood out like a sore thumb. We were instructed to keep a low profile. While we were teaching, I could not but help think about what would happen if the authorities came knocking?  I knew that they could only detain us for 12 hours before they have to contact the US Consulate, but what about the other brother and sisters who were there? Our translator had been arrested last year at a large event like we were at and she fled to Fiji for a year to avoid authorities.

Thankfully our name of God this was proved true. Our name this week is “The LORD Our Defense” He is Yahweh-Maginnenu. God was Yahweh-Maginnenu when Moses was attacked with criticism from his own sister and brother, Miriam and Aaron. They didn’t like Moses’ wife, and they didn’t like that Moses was in charge of the people of Israel. They said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?’ And the LORD heard it.” (Numbers 12:2)

So what did Yahweh-Maginnenu do? He defended Moses! God had chosen Moses to be the leader of His people. God had spoken to Moses, and Moses had led the people just as God told him. So God was angry when Miriam and Aaron complained about Moses. He was so angry that He told Miriam and Aaron they were wrong, and punished them for their sin. God was defending Moses from the attacks of others… He was Yahweh-Maginnenu, the LORD Our Defense.

The reality is that sometimes in life it seems that God does not defend us well. The reality is that during those times when we are going through hardships, God is still strengthening us to endure all that we are facing. Sometimes God lets His children “get hit” a few times before He stands in the way of the attack. He helps His children be strong in the attack, and when the time is right, He defends us. God treats us no differently than He treated His own Son Jesus.

God waited to defend Jesus. Many people did not believe Jesus was the Son of God. They were angry and wanted Jesus killed. They brought Him to Pontius Pilate to decide whether Jesus would be killed, and they said many untrue things about Jesus. But Jesus did not defend Himself from the lies. He knew that His Father, Yahweh-Maginnenu, would defend Him. 1 Peter 2:22–23 tells us that “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

We know what happened. Pilate let Barabbas go, a wicked, evil murderer, and sent Jesus, who never did anything wrong, to be killed. The Father let the people kill Jesus. But then He raised Jesus from the dead and showed that Jesus is His Son! He defended Jesus by showing the people that nothing could hurt Jesus forever. Nothing could win over Jesus in the end.

The Father let Jesus die on the cross and waited to defend Jesus so that so that Lord could protect us from the punishment we deserve due to our sin. Because just like Miriam and Aaron, we have all sinned and need to be protected from God’s anger at sin. And the Lord himself has been our defense! 1 Peter 2:24 declares that “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. “

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