Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Exodus 3:1-22

God Reveals His Name, Himself

It’s a great thing when God reveals Himself, especially when you live in a time before any holy book was written.  We take God’s revelation for granted since we have his infallible word written before our very eyes: The Holy Bible.  But not Moses – he hadn’t written it yet.  That would come later when the Holy Spirit would breathe His words through him so that he could write those books which came to be called “the Law,” that is, Genesis through Deuteronomy.  No.  Moses didn’t have the Bible.

But Moses had God, or God had Moses, we should say.  So when Moses one day spied a burning bush that wasn’t burning up, he turned aside to see what for.  That’s when God revealed Himself, and the divine “gotcha,” otherwise known as a “call,” came to Moses.  God explained to Moses that He had heard the cries of His people, knew their sufferings, and intended to send Moses to Pharaoh with the news, “Let my people go!”  Pharaoh, of course, would decline.

What is most significant about this passage is the way God revealed Himself to Moses, the way he described Himself.  He comes to Moses calling Himself “the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  One might argue, “What other way was there that God might use to tell Moses who He was?”  Perhaps.  But I think more is being said about God here.  God wants us to know that He is not some God who just showed up on the scene.  He is the God of our fathers whose plan of redemption He laid before the foundation of the world.  He has claimed not only us (we have such short memories and tend to be arrogant about our own generation) but previous generations as well, and will not save us without them (Hebrews 11:39-12:2).

And then he revealed to Moses that wonderful personal name: “I Am,” otherwise known as “Jehovah” or “Yahweh,” depending on transliteration, or simply “the LORD” in most Bibles.  “I Am.”  Why in the world, out of all the personal names God could have chosen for Himself, did He pick this one?  Actually, it’s a perfect name for God.  Why?  Because He just simply, well … is.  And the rest of us are, only because He is.  It’s a way of expressing that only He has life in Himself, and is eternal, infinite, holy, beyond all of our puny attempts to describe Him.  He was, is, is to come, and ever shall be.  Upon whom else will you cast your burden, your faith, your salvation?  He is.  Hallelujah!

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