At one point, Moses was Egyptian royalty. But seeing the suffering of his own people, he could no longer take it. He killed an Egyptian official out of rage yet pity for his enslaved Israelite brothers. He’s been on the run for 40 years now. He’s become a fugitive nobody amongst the foreign Midians, once shepherding a wealthy nation, now a few blathering sheep.
But one day, a burning bush in the distance catches his eye. Curiously, Moses approaches and quickly realise it was God. What did God have to do with him? God’s people were suffering in Egypt, thought Moses. He was the run, a murderer, forgotten and scorned probably by everyone he knew in his past life.
But God had a plan to make his name known to Moses and his Israelite people, and all this hardship had been God’s wise and carefully crafted backdrop for this occasion. God hadn’t forgotten his people. He was about to reveal himself.
Before that bush God said to Moses, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians to bring them to a good and broad land flowing with milk and honey. I will send you, Moses, to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:7-12 paraphrased).
But Moses doubts and says, “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). God says “I am with you” (the original text in Exodus 3:12 can be translated this way).
But Moses is still unsure. “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name? what shall I say to them?’” (Exodus 3:13). But God replies, “I am who I am”. In Hebrew, its Yahweh or Jehovah***.***
To Moses and to the people of Israel God is saying, I am the personal, self-existent, eternal, independent God. I am unlimited and my glory is unfathomable. I am great, far greater than you can imagine. My full glory is hidden from you so that you would humbly fear me. God revealed himself as the sovereign and all-powerful God in this exact moment of unbelief and oppression.
But God also says, I am with you, I have not forgotten my covenant, I am faithful, I will go with you. God is both sovereign and faithful. He is both Lord yet friend to His people.
This is how God had revealed Himself to Moses and the Israelites amid their persecution. This sovereign and faithful God was going to rescue them from their slavery. He was going to show his power but also his faithfulness to his people.
The God who was sovereign and faithful over the people of Israel is still sovereign and faithful over Christians today. His name is Jehovah. He is the Lord. Let’s trust him with our lives and submit ourselves to his ways. He’s worth trusting and living for.
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