Devotion – Exodus 3

The burning bush experience is one of the great events of the Bible.  Moses is tending
sheep out in the wilderness.  He has been doing the same thing for years.  Shepherding is a fairly boring job, so the monotony had to get to Moses occasionally.  But on this day, Moses would have an event unlike any other.  He looks over the hill and notices a bush that is on fire.  That in and of itself would not be anything special.  But upon closer review, Moses notices that the leaves are still green and that they bush itself is not being consumed by the fire.  He approaches the bush and has a face to face encounter with the living God.  God was about to speak to Moses, and reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.  God was about to give Moses the “God sized” task of delivering His people from slavery.  In the midst of this incredible conversation, God reveals Himself in ways He had never done before.  What did Moses learn about the character of God?

God gave Moses the eternal name that He wanted to be known by for His people.  “I AM WHO I AM.  Tell them that I AM has sent you.”  Now, anyone reading with a critical eye ought to notice something about this statement.  Specifically, when someone uses a form of the verb “to be” it should be qualified with a noun or an adjective or some other word.  “I am hungry.”  “You are a wonderful person.”  “He is a big man.”  But when God reveals Himself to Moses, He says His name is “I AM.”  “I AM, what?” Should be our first question.  But that is exactly the point.  God has told Moses that He will be everything that Moses needs.  When Moses meets Pharoah, he can declare that God is “I AM the God who sends the plagues.”  When they are at the Red Sea, God will be “I AM the God who parts the waters.”  At Mount Sinai, God will be “I AM the one who gives the Law.”  When the people are hungry or thirsty in the wilderness, God reveals Himself as “I AM the one who brings water from the rock and manna from heaven.”

God tells Moses that “I AM” will be His eternal name to His people.  This does not mean that we can take God and make Him whatever we want Him to be.  God is sovereign and holy.  He is above His creation and is omnipotent.  He does not condescend Himself to our sinful desires and nature.  But when we trust Him and obey Him, God’s covenant name for us remains the same, “I AM.”

In the book of John, Jesus demonstrates His deity by using this covenant name.  Jesus called Himself “I AM the bread of life,” “I AM the way, the truth and the life,” “I AM the good shepherd,” “I AM the resurrection and the life.”  In John 8:58, Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I AM.”  The Jews realized that this statement was a claim to diety, because they tried to execute Him.

What do you need today.  Like Moses, you can find the great I AM of the Scriptures.  God is available to you if you trust Him and obey Him.

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