Reading: Exodus 3:1 – 4:17
Focus Verses: Exodus 3:1-3 & 3:14-15
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
It would be an easy thing (and understandable) to read through this verse and say, “Got it. Next!” I’m going to challenge us… not so fast!
Moses was tending sheep? Wasn’t he raised the son of an Egyptian princess? For about 40 years he lived a royal life, then for the next 40 years he worked as a shepherd. That seems like a giant step backwards to me. Now, let’s be clear… in the chapter before, Moses was hardly innocent. He “made his bed,” so to speak, and had to flee the posh life of a prince in Egypt. But he took a job, and was content in living as a shepherd. He had no idea that he was being primed to save the people of Israel. He was a nobody. Less than that, in fact; shepherds had pretty lowly status. Moses was around 80 years old when God revealed His plan.
God uses our obedience, and He also uses our mistakes. If Moses had stayed in Egypt, do you think we would have ever seen a burning bush? Do you think he would have ever even been in the wilderness? Probably not. In His infinite wisdom, God had Moses wait for the right time and the right place. “Wait” is hard! But it’s less hard if we work as if for God, and trust in His plan.
God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.”
“I Am Who I Am.” I really love what this means… when I finally understand it! “I Am Who I Am,” meaning He is self existent, dependent on no one and no thing. Meaning He is unchangeable, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Meaning that He is what He always was, and what He always will be. “I AM” like no other – no human mind can conceive of or measure my existence.
Good thing God gave more for Moses to say to describe Himself, as I expect the people of Israel would question the “I AM” statement. God is quick to clear it up so His people would really know from whom the message came. We’ve heard this message before – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. As He did with the people of Israel in this passage, God meets us where we are. God anticipates our questions, so don’t be afraid to ask them! Seek His message in full, through His word, through prayer, and/or through wise and Godly people in your life. “This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations” (v. 15). ALL generations. Unchanging. That means you and me, too.
Father, thank you for making yourself known to me, just as you did with your people through Moses. Thank you for meeting me where I am, and thank you for being available to me when I have questions! Help me to hear You, God, and help me to understand Your message for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.