It is always good to know a person’s name. Names have a way of describing a person sometimes, of communicating something about that person. Here God says that He had revealed himself to his people as “God Almighty” (El Shaddai), but now he was going to show himself to his people as “The Lord” (Yahweh). Yahweh is the God who keeps his promises. He is the promise-keeping God.
And so, in our reading today, God repeats all the promises that he had made to bring his people out of their slavery and into the Promised Land. But they were having a hard time believing it, for it says their spirit was broken by the harsh slavery. Sometimes, when a person goes through very trying circumstances, it is difficult for them to believe that God could ever accomplish what he has said he will do. But God’s faithfulness to his people does not always depend on the ups and downs of our faith. He knows that we are dust and his faithfulness to the promises he has made to us depends more on his own character rather that our fickle faith.
We do need to have faith, there is no question about that. But we can have our moments when our faith ebbs and flows. God understands and He goes to work, calling on us to let our faith in him grow stronger and stronger with each passing experience.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
(Luke 17:5-6 ESV)