I’m grateful to be back in my Bible study, a study that has seen me in my darkest valleys. Week by week we measure out the Word, and this year we take our hearts to the book of Exodus, cracked open to the word oppression, a book that hears the heart-cry of a nation, a nation that continues to suffer to this day, a nation that has seen, heard, felt so much anguish and journeyed so far to this milk-and-honey land, but it had to begin somewhere in the depths of hopelessness–and a seed of freedom had to be planted in the heart of one man who was doubtful. Because how could this seed be planted in someone who is confident and self-assured, one who thinks, “No, problem.”? No, it begins in the heart of one who says:
Who I am?
Suppose I go, and they ask me, “Who sent you?”
Suppose they (your people, O God) don’t believe me or listen to what I have to say?
I am slow of speech and tongue.
Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.
You know how Paul mentioned that he was the chief of sinners? Well, then I am the chief of doubters–like Moses. And that, is where, I believe the Lord knew exactly what to say to this 80-year-old king-of-doubt. And this, this doubtful heart of mine, when he–when I–ask the question, who should I say sent me?
Did you notice how God took Moses’ first question and turned it into a statement?
This is what the Sovereign Lord said, first: I AM WHO I AM, This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’
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. Exodus 3:14-15
I am reminded that this is who, at least for the Israelites, I AM was:
I AM the God who brought a blessed and chosen nation out of one child, a child born to a woman decades past her child-bearing years, one who never thought she would have a baby of her own, one who laughed when she heard the news of my promise.
I AM the God, who 80 years ago, when your Egyptian oppressor – sent out a decree that all male babies born in Jewish households were to be thrown into a river infested with crocodiles, hippos and poisonous snakes to die a watery death rescued out a leader through the faithfulness of one woman.
Rachel, I AM the God who has fought for you, protected you, provided for you for the last 36 years of your life, I AM the God that you screamed at and cursed and questioned and cried to when you didn’t see a way out. I AM the God who has led you around the world to accomplish your healing. I AM the God who has supplied your every need. I AM the God that you wake up to and the One you say “goodnight” to every night. Why do you question me? Why do you allow yourself to be troubled? Trust in me.
And so began Moses’ journey back to a land he wasn’t sure would accept him– [it didn’t.] So began this man’s journey of faith.
Where is God asking you to go today? To apologize to a co-worker? Say “yes” to a project you’ve been putting off? Being present with our children, spouse, mother-in-law? God may not be asking you to lead a nation out of slavery today, but He is asking you to be obedient and the excuses that Moses used are usually always the same–who knows, you may need help just as Moses needed Aaron, but above all else, remember it’s not “I will” but it’s “I AM.”
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Psalm 95: 3-7