“Thus they will know that I am the LORD.” (5:13; 6:7, 10, 13, 14)
It’s a great Bible study trick to always take notice of repeated phrases. This statement occurs five times in these two short chapters! I dare say, we will see it again soon.
In the midst of all this judgement, we might ask the age old question: why, and this repeated phrase is ready to answer.
Israel has abandoned the LORD by confusing Him with other gods, marrying Him with the female fertility goddess, and forgetting who He really is. They know some deity saved them from Egypt, but since then, there’s been a lot of Exodus 32:4 moments when a leader has pointed to a golden something and said, “this is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
All this giving the LORD’s glory and sacrifices to idols has led to the ruin of Israel. So when they’re dying by sword and famine, the LORD is going to be clear that this is why.
The false prophets said there would never be consequences for idolatry. The LORD’s prophets, most notoriously at this time: Jeremiah, said the opposite. Soon everyone would face the truth.
If we really stop to think, most conflicts and troubles in life can be traced back to an issue of idolatry. Whether we don’t know who God is, or misunderstand His profound goodness, we look elsewhere; misplacing sacrifices. When it all goes wrong, it’s not because He isn’t good, it’s because, somewhere along the way, someone misplaced the glory of God.
What is the situation you find yourself in today? Is there an instance where His praise has been given to the wrong person or thing? Ask God to reveal His true, worthy nature and presence in your day. How will you know that He is the LORD?