1.1.2 God reveals Himself in the history of Israel

The fact that God revealed Himself in history first becomes clear in the development of the people of Israel as attested in the Old Testament.


When He revealed himself in the burning bush, God provided an historical reference by pointing out that He had already revealed Himself to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 3: 6).


The central event of salvation for the people of Israel is their liberation from slavery in Egypt. Here, God led His people in the form of a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire (Exodus 13: 21-22). This deliverance is mentioned again and again in the Old Testament: the prophets make reference to this great deed of God, and the Psalms sing of it.


In addition to the exodus from Egypt, the promise that the people of God would be given a land of their own in Canaan and the covenant made at Mount Sinai are divine revelations of decisive importance: God Himself determined the place where His people were to live and, through the Commandments at Mount Sinai, gave Israel rules and standards by which to live.


The faith of the people of Israel is based upon divine revelations in their history, which they experienced either as an expression of God's helping care or of His punitive judgements.


Psalms 105 and 106 proclaim in impressive fashion that God both shapes history and manifests Himself within it. Likewise, the events during the time of the judges and kings in Israel and Judah, the Babylonian captivity, and the return from exile, provide examples of the fact that God intervenes in history.


Moreover, God revealed Himself through His prophets: "I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the witness of the prophets" (Hosea 12: 10). It is the same God who leads and instructs His people: "Yet I am the Lord your God ever since the land of Egypt, and you shall know no God but Me; for there is no Saviour besides Me" (Hosea 13: 4). It is likewise through the prophets that God promises the coming Messiah, the Saviour (Isaiah 9: 6; Micah 5: 2).