Who is like you, Adonai, among the mighty?
Who is like you, sublime in holiness,
awesome in praises, working wonders?
The Israelites have just been freed from the clutches of Egypt.
However, as we are about to soon find out, although THEY may have left Egypt, the Egypt inside of them still remained.
One doesn’t so easily just shake off the influence of over 400 years of slavery and immersion in a foreign and pagan culture.
God’s work of forming a people group that would reflect His ways and image was just beginning.
The Song of Moses that we are working are way through now is quite educating in terms of revealing how thoroughly pagan the ancient Hebrew mindset still was at that time.
Let’s take a look at verse 11: “Who is like you, O Adonai, among the mighty?”
The original Hebrew would be “Who is like you YAHWEH, among the ELIM?”
Let’s take a closer look at the word ELIM.
The general understanding of the spiritual world in those days could be summed up by the following two points:
-There were an innumerable number of multiple gods.
-…they were organized according to an established celestial power structure.
So, according to the pagan mind, there were lower gods that served mightier gods and all sorts of other gods in between.
The word ELIM is plural and refers to those gods at the upper end of the power structure.
Now this may be a bit disturbing to hear but even after being saved from Egypt, the Israelites still thought of YAHWEH as just one of the many gods in existence.
Of course, they viewed YHVH as being their god, the god they would pledge allegiance to.
But they did NOT see Him as the only god in existence.
He was just the highest god among many gods, and as was amply demonstrated when YHVH was striking Egypt with the plagues, definitely higher than Egypt’s gods.
Again, whenever we encounter the phrase “the God above all gods”, understand that the Israelites really took that statement LITERALLY.
It wasn’t just some exaggerated expression of grandeur used to express their heartfelt wonder when they beheld the majesty and glory of their god who so kindly plucked them out of the nations to be His own.
Today’s spiritual takeaway is this.
Just as the minds of the Israelites were filled with so many untruths and still shackled by a slavery mindset AFTER God saved them, so is the new believer today.
Isn’t it so true that the baby believer is filled will all kinds of false ideas about the nature of God and what the Bible really says?
Simply because a person has accepted Yeshua as Lord and Savior does not set him or her free from all of the worldly deceptions they were bound by before their born again experience.
Just as the minds and souls of the Israelites were corrupted and full of all kinds of false assumptions they absorbed during their sojourn in Egypt, so are we filled with all kinds of bogus nonsense we’ve absorbed from the world prior to our coming to God.
At this point of their Exodus, the Israelites were the equivalent of baby believers.
All infant Israel knew was that they had a God, they knew his name, and they knew He was more powerful than the gods of Egypt.
And that’s about it.
That was pretty much the extent of their knowledge.
God would now begin the growth process by revealing the truth to them via His laws and teachings one step at a time.
Each one of God’s laws and truths would slowly but surely destroy the deceptions the Israelites had formerly believed.
It would be a lifelong growth process.
And by the way, contrary to popular misunderstanding, TORAH does NOT mean “law”.
It means “instruction” and/or “teaching”.
If you’re a new believer, I hope your catching the significance of this.
Being “saved” is not the be all and end all as is mistakenly taught in so many churches.
It is the FIRST STEP towards being formed in the image of the One who has called you to Him.
And how do you conform to the image of YHVH?
By walking in His Ways, His Statutes, and the Laws He has established and gave to those He calls His own, whether Jew or Gentile.
Again, you don’t walk in His ways to be saved.
Salvation has ALWAYS been by grace through your faith in trusting God.
The salvation of Israel from Egypt was based 100% on grace.
They didn’t do anything to merit it.
They didn’t have to follow some set of Laws first in order to get saved.
That would have been impossible because they hadn’t even received God’s Laws yet.
Remember God saved Israel first BY GRACE, and then afterwards He gave them His Laws.
Just as salvation was the starting point for God to begin molding the ancient Israelites into His image, so it is with us.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
As for me, brothers,
I couldn’t talk to you as spiritual people
but as worldly people,
so far as experience with the Messiah is concerned.
I gave you milk,
not solid food,
because you were not yet ready for it.
But you aren’t ready for it now either!
For you are still worldly!
Isn’t it obvious from all the jealousy
and quarrelling among you
that you are worldly
and living by merely human standards?
-1 Corinthians 3:1-3