God has just commissioned Moses to go back to Egypt after forty years of being a fugitive of sorts. He tells him to go to Pharaoh and bring the people of Israel out. Moses is understandably hesitant but God answers his first objection by promising, “…I will be with you…”
Still, Moses goes on hesitating and objecting. He is worried that God’s people will ask God’s name. He asks, “What shall I say to them?”
Does he think they’d forgotten who they were crying out to? More likely, he is asking because he himself wants God to reveal more of who he is. Moses want to know this God he is going to radically serve. Perhaps Moses is asking for reassurance in the context of intimacy. Trust is built on intimacy. He, like Saul/Paul, could be essentially asking, “Who are you, Lord?”
Again, God’s response delivers a concept of his enduring presence. God says, “I am who I am…say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you…The Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ “
I am. If Moses’ was anything like all of us, and I suspect he was, his fears were rooted in his alone-ness, his unworthiness, his being ill-equipped, and his lack of felt authority for such a task. Fortunately, a present-tense God remedies them all.
Moses, you don’t need anyone else to go with you because I am.
Moses, you are not worthy to tell the elders and the Pharaoh what to do, but I am.
Moses, you are not equipped to change the hearts and minds of powerful leaders who oppress and enslave the masses, but I am.
Moses, you have no right to tell anyone what to do and you are not anyone’s authority, but I am.
Go tell the elders of my people that you’ve seen me. Go tell them I am coming to bring them up to a good land. Do not worry, Moses, they will listen to you. Take the elders and go to Pharaoh. Ask for a time of sacrifice to me in the wilderness. He will not let you go but I will send plaques. Afterward, he will let you go and you will plunder the Egyptians in the end.
I can just hear Moses now. The elders, God? You mean those guys who saw me kill a man and asked if a was going to kill them, too? You mean the guys who mocked me asking who made me their boss? Really? And Pharaoh? The leader of Egypt?? The guy who takes away straw and doubles the workload when slaves get out of line? The guy with the power to take my life in an instant? That guy? And say what?!
The man has just seen a powerful miracle (the burning bush.) God is speaking directly to him. There is no question Moses is completely immersed in the supernatural. Still, the natural man shifts into doubting worrier gear the moment God commands him to do something big; something unexpected.
What grace Our God has for our foolish hesitations over obedience! What grace Our God has for our foolish objections to his call! Next time God commissions you to step out and do the next thing in his will, remember his response to Moses’ quibbles. Let’s make it personal:
Christian, I will be with you.
Christian, you don’t need anyone else to go with you because I am.
Christian, you are not worthy to tell those in positions of authority what to do, but I am.
Christian, you are not equipped to change the hearts and minds of powerful leaders who oppress and enslave the masses, but I am.
Christian, you have no right to tell anyone what to do and you are not anyone’s authority, but I am.
Go tell everyone you know that you have seen me. Tell them I see their pain and their problems. Tell them I am coming to bring them up to a good and glorious heaven. Do not worry, Christian, those who belong to my people will listen to you. The enemy will not listen, but I will deal with him. We will win.
Go, Christian. Go do something big; something unexpected and I will be with you. Don’t worry, I am.