We read in Exodus 3 that Moses wasn’t too sure about God’s section of him as savior of the Hebrew people from Egypt. Remember that Moses had been rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter as a baby and brought up in the very house of Pharaoh. Remember also that Moses fled the land of Egypt after killing an Egyptian in response to rough treatment of a Hebrew slave. In that running, Moses “stumbled” upon a well and met up with a priest of the most high God, received one of his daughters as a wife, and took care of sheep in the wilderness.
Here is how the interaction between God and Moses plays out in the story:
3:9 Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. 10 Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” 13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” 14 God replied to Moses, “I am who I am. Say this to the people of Israel: I am has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.
16 “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. 17 I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt.
You see, Moses has a crisis of identity. In fact, let me argue that Moses has had this crisis since the time he was born. Is Moses a Hebrew or an Egyptian? Is Moses a grandson of the King or a fleeing murderer? Is Moses a city boy or a wilderness wanderer? Who does Moses worship as god? Is Moses rich or poor? Strong or weak? Who is Moses?
On the other hand, God does not have an identity crisis…the very name Yahweh means “I am who I am” and while Moses can’t seem to figure out what qualifies him for this type of service, God is convinced that Moses is the man to represent Him in Egypt against Pharaoh and all of the other gods that reign in the land.
The key to this whole weird meeting between Yahweh and Moses…God tells Moses that, “I will be with you.” God even helps him by reassuring Moses that when it is all done, he will lead the people to worship at this very mountain they are conversing on right now. While we may not be called to rescue an entire people from the hands of powerful oppression, and while we may have our own identity problems…God’s purpose for you always comes with the assurance of God’s presence to complete the work God has for us to do. And when our identity is a point of confusion in our lives, God’s identity is a refuge to which we can run and regain ourselves through pursuing God’s presence with us.
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.