August 28, 2011
Exodus 3:1-15

Have you ever heard about Pocket God? This is a popular video game app for Apple’s iPhone. Here is the game’s description found on iTunes: “What kind of god would you be? Benevolent or vengeful? Play Pocket God and discover the answer within yourself. On a remote island, you are the all-powerful god that rules over the primitive islanders. You can bring new life, and then take it away just as quickly.” Through acts of vengeance and power, players get to discover who they would be as god.

Even though he grew up in Pharaoh’s household, Moses knew about the God of the Israelites. One day in the wilderness of Midian, God revealed more about Himself to Moses in a miraculous manner. Through this encounter, we learn some important truths about who God is.

He Is the God Who Knows Us
Can you imagine the sight? As Moses tended to the flock, he saw a bush on fire without being transformed to ashes. As he approached this curious sight, a voice called out from the midst of the burning bush: “Moses, Moses!” (v. 4). The voice knew the identity of this obscure shepherd. The man who wanted to escape his identity after he murdered an Egyptian is now confronted by someone who knows who he is. How could the voice know him? The voice is the God of the Hebrew people. He is the God who knows all humanity intimately and completely. He is also the God who knows you, whoever you may be, whatever you may have done. He knows you.

He Is the Holy God
God began His conversation with Moses by warning Him not to come near because He is holy (v. 5). God’s holiness demands respect and reverence. The idea of God’s holiness is a central theme in the remainder of the Book of Exodus. The fact that God is holy does not mean He is ultimately transcendent and unknowable. God is holy, but He is intensely personal. Because God has revealed Himself to humanity, all people can come to know Him.

He Is the God Who Calls
God appeared to Moses in this miraculous way for a purpose. God was calling Moses to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt and bring them into the land promised to their forefathers (vv. 7-10). The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was calling His people back to their covenant relationship with Him, and He was calling Moses to lead the people back to Him. Moses would form them into a nation whose central concern would be the worship of God.

He Is the God Who Is Present
Moses’ response to God’s call shows that he immediately realized the responsibility of the task. He replied to God, “Who am I?” (v. 11). Moses was a shepherd, and he knew the Egyptians looked on shepherds with disgust (Genesis 46:34). Moses knew he would have no official recognition among the Egyptians.

When God responded to Moses’ question, He didn’t try to build up Moses’ confidence in himself or in his abilities. Instead, God reassured him that He would be with him in carrying out his task (v. 12). As with Joseph, God would provide the kind of recognition Moses would need before Pharaoh by the signs and great wonders that he would perform through Moses. God would make Himself known to Moses, the Israelites and the Egyptians. No matter how difficult the task, God is present.

He Is the God Who Is Known
Moses raised a second objection to God’s plan and calling. “If the Israelites ask me what the name of their God is, what should I tell them?” (v. 13). In other words, Moses knew he would meet opposition from the Egyptians and Israelites in Egypt. The nature of this opposition would be theological. The Israelites would view Moses with skepticism. They had called out to God for years, and it seemed God had not listened. How could Moses convince them of God’s plan and calling?

God tells Moses to tell the Israelites, “I AM WHO I AM” has sent him (v. 14). This name for God implies the continuous presence of the God who has made Himself known to the Israelites. This is His covenant name.

His name should remind the Israelites that He had not turned a deaf ear to their cries. God had remembered His covenant with them, and He was actively seeking their deliverance. Moses and the Israelites could know God was with them because He made Himself known to them!

God has revealed Himself to humanity. We may know Him personally, but we must approach Him with reverence and respect. He has made Himself known to us so we might make Him known to the world. How well do you know this great God?

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