There is an oft repeated phrase that many fail to read as they get bogged down in Scripture and decide to skip huge passages of the Old Testament to get to easier reading. Confronted with the history of battles, judges and kings, many in today’s society prefer to read of love, kindness and gentleness. But tucked within those passages of the plight of God’s people coming out from under Egyptian bondage and living in the Promised Land is the phrase, “…and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” The phrase not only applied to the Children of Israel but to all the nations round about them whom God used to bring judgment and blessing.
God used pestilence and death upon the Egyptian people so they “…shall know that I am the LORD,” (Exodus 7:5). He fed the Children of Israel in the wilderness even while they murmured so they “…shall know that I am the LORD your God,” (Exodus 16:12). Battles were fought and won or lost so “…ye shall know that I am the LORD,” (I Kings 20:28). The Lord delivered His Children from Babylonian captivity so “…they shall know that My name is The LORD,” (Jeremiah 16:21). It is a theme throughout the entire Old Testament, “… and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.”
Why was the phrase so often repeated? The Lord tells us in Ezekiel 11:12, “And ye shall know that I am the Lord: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you.” Does God need to get our attention and the attention of our nations so we will know that He is the Lord GOD and obey His statutes? His love for us is so great He desires to do whatever it takes to bring us into a right relationship with Him. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.