I picture Moses, the old shepherd, sitting on a rock and watching his sheep graze. Across the valley something catches His eye — a bush has caught on fire somehow. There was no one to tell; he was all alone. As Moses watched, the bush burned on and on and on. Strangely, it was still burning an hour later. Two hours later the flames had not died down. There was something unnatural about this fire. Moses moved in for a closer look, talking to himself (v.3)…
Moses heard God call his name that day, and as he stood there barefooted and covering his face, God began to share His heart for His people. God had heard their cries for help. He knew all about their oppression and their suffering, and He had a plan to deliver them out of slavery and into a fertile, new homeland.
What was God’s plan? A fugitive old shepherd with a self-esteem problem: Moses. “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh,” God said. For me, this highlights God’s great grace. He chose to use Moses in spite of Moses. Just as God had chosen a common wilderness bush in which to reveal His presence, He had chosen an unlikely leader in which to display His power.
When Moses argued, “Who am I?” God did not respond with a pep talk to affirm all of Moses’ awesome qualities. And He didn’t try to pump up Moses’ self-esteem. Instead, God promised His presence, and that is enough! God + anybody = an overwhelming majority.
Something powerful happens when in our desperation we admit, “God, I can’t do it!” It is then that He responds, “Good — you never could! Now trust Me.”
God gave Moses the next three steps in the plan: (1) Moses would return to Egypt and tell the elders of Israel what God had said, (2) Moses would go before Pharaoh to demand Israel’s release, and (3) God would “strike Egypt with wonders” that would break the stubborn refusal of Pharaoh. And God guaranteed the success of His plan up front: “they will listen to you” (v.18), “he will let you go” (v.20), and “you shall plunder the Egyptians” (v.22).
But Moses needed to settle another question before he could proceed: “Exactly who are You? I need to know that if I am going to speak for You.” Without a rebuke, God told Moses, “Tell them I AM sent you” (v.14). I AM translates the root word of God’s personal name, often spelled “Yahweh” or “Jehovah.”
Moses was being sent by the true and living God, the Lord who eternally exists — the one who simply IS: “I AM present right here with you, Moses, just as I WAS with Abraham. I AM with you in the wilderness and I WILL BE with you in Egypt.” You can live with confidence and purpose today — the great I AM is with you!
Do yourself a favor and watch as Louie Giglio gives an inspiring interpretation of God, the I AM.