- Chad Werkhoven
Exodus 3:1-15 - God Is.
God's name for Himself may seem simple, but it's amazingly profound.
Read / Listen
Read Exodus 3:1-15
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”
15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,
the name you shall call me
from generation to generation.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 25
Q. Since there is but one God,
why do you speak of three:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
A. Because that is how
God has revealed himself in his Word:
these three distinct persons
are one, true, eternal God.
We come to the famous story of the burning bush in the context of understanding our Triune (three in one) God.
Moses arrived at the burning bush from a far different context: he'd been keeping his head down, doing his job and hoping that the Egyptians wouldn't find and prosecute him for a murder he'd committed 40 years earlier.
He's lived a quiet, peaceful life as a shepherd, when out of nowhere a bush erupts into a flame that doesn't fizzle out. As he approaches the burning bush, he hears:
Do not come near... the place on which you are standing is holy ground! (v5)
The voice proceeds to tell Moses he's been drafted to lead the massive community of Hebrews from their slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, flowing with milk & honey.
It's customary for a royal figure to be announced with what's known as a heraldry, which is often a long and complicated recitation of all of that person's titles. Each of the names read off has meaning, and the more names a royal has, the more important he is.
The official heraldry God gives for Himself is neither long nor complicated, yet it is immensely profound:
I AM who I AM
In other words, GOD IS. God is His attributes; that is, He isn't just good, rather He defines goodness. He doesn't just act lovingly, love exists because God exists.
God exists in and of Himself. He had no beginning and will never end. Time itself is one of His creations, and He lives outside of and above it. He always was, is now and always will be.
The concept of God being both three and one doesn't easily harmonize with our understanding of logic. But remember, logic, just like time, is God's creation. He wrote the laws of logic, but He's not obligated to conform to them as we are.
None of us will ever full comprehend who and what God is. Many people reject God because they can't understand Him. But let these incomprehensible aspects of God comfort you rather than push you away. Afterall, if our God controls rather than conforms to logic, what is there that He can't control?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father in heaven, your name is holy and you are above all things;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will be able to fully trust God even though you don't fully understand Him.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 24