Scripture text for Tuesday, January 26, 2010: Exodus 3:1-4:17
Today’s devotion is on Exodus 3:1 – 4:17 where Moses first encounters God in the burning bush. There is a lot of material worth noting in these two chapters, but every time I read them, my attention goes to 3:14 – 15.
God has just instructed Moses to return to Egypt, where he is a fugitive wanted for murder, and demand that Pharaoh release the Israelites from captivity. Understandably, Moses probably viewed this as a death sentence and wanted to know who, exactly, it was giving him these orders. He asked God, what is your name?
Having just read Genesis, it is obvious that names are very important to God. Whenever a new character is introduced, we are told not only this person’s name but also their father’s and mother’s names and often the entire family tree going back many generations. The name also contains information about this person that is significant to God. When God made the covenant with Abram and promised to make him the father of many nations, He changed the name of Abram, which means “exalted father” to Abraham, which means the “father of many.” Jacob, which means “deceiver” was changed by God to Israel, which means “he struggles with God.”
When Moses asked God’s name, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ That is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” “This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” Notice that God did not list a father or mother or family tree. He is, He was and He will always be. The name God gave Himself also describes His most important characteristic, HE IS. Without this, all of the other characteristics attributed to God, loving, caring, patient, forgiving, creative, are empty and meaningless.
When Jesus was trying to explain to the Jews who he was (John 8:58), he says, “I tell you the truth…before Abraham was born, I am!” When Jesus, walking on the water, approaches his disciples, terrified and huddling in their storm tossed boat, he says, “I AM; stop being frightened.” (John 6:20)
Moses overcame his fear by trusting I AM and went to Pharaoh. The disciples overcame their fear after the crucifixion by trusting I AM. Whenever I am anxious or afraid, I put my trust into the hands of I AM.
Devotion prepared by John Umbeck