I would like to begin a series based on the following statement of God, “I am who I am” (Ex 3:14). This expression was used by God to describe to Moses who He was at the burning bush. The Hebrew word for I am is ehyeh and comes from the first person singular of the verb to be. It could be used in such common statements as, “I am going for a walk” or “I am walking the dog.” But when used as a stand-alone statement related to God it takes on dynamic meaning. “I AM” speaks of self-existence and sufficiency. “I am who I am” could also rendered “I will be what I will be” or “I create what (ever) I create” or “the One who is always present.” Yahweh would become the covenant name of the God given to Israel and made distinctive to the people of God over the centuries.
The reason for this study comes from the Weekend with Jesus where Kerry Cook spoke on the “I am” statements that have shaped her life. It is important for us to know who God is – “I am who I am” – in order to step into the maturity as followers of Jesus. We are able to believe and confess our personal “I am” statements as we grow in our understanding of God. The revelation of “I am who I am” is progressive in the context of Scripture and eventually we see Jesus Christ as the “I am” of God in human flesh. This morning we will take some time to consider Moses and “I am who I am”.
As we read this passage of Scripture this morning, I want us to remember the context of Moses and the Israelites. But as we read, I want to apply this spiritually and practically to us today as followers of Jesus. Let’s observe and consider the Scripture and prayerfully ask God to transform our thoughts, emotions and lives.
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 desert 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.”
· These verses tell us of the circumstances of Moses’ call by God. After 40 years of training in the courts of Pharaoh, Moses now neared the end of another 40 years of his life as a shepherd, working for his father-in-law Jethro.
· This may have been the same mountain where Moses receives the 10 commandments.
· It was just another day tending the flock when all of a sudden Moses comes upon a burning bush. The mystery of a burning bush that is not consumed arouses Moses curiosity. Let’s keep our curiosity of God fresh and vibrant.
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.”
· God is looking for people who will take a closer look. There are all kinds of experiences in life, both spiritual and natural, that beg for a closer look.
· As followers of Jesus we must take time to hear and respond to God calling our name.
· When was the last time you personally said to God, “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.
· The Holiness of God is not to be taken lightly or frivolously; it is time to humble yourself before God.
· A burning bush that is not consumed and speaks out your name should cause the fear of God to arise. Moses was right to be afraid.
· There is a message to us today. There is much being said about grace and love and mercy today which is good and true. But we must not forgot the holiness of God as followers of Jesus.
· There are times in my walk with God where the physical ground or place of ministry was sanctified or made holy by God’s divine presence. The manifestation of the Spirit was so holy that myself or others had open visions or were slain in the Spirit.
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.”
· Just as the Jews were groaning under hard labour, I believe that God hears the cries of his people today, all around the world. We should take comfort in knowing that God sees our hardships and troubles.
· And he will come down to rescue us from the Egypt – a type of the world – and bring us into a good and spacious land (Promises Land) – speaking of salvation. Luke 4:18-19 - “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
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.’ ”
· Moses is just like us. He wrestles with his humanity, his weaknesses and his uncertainty with regards to the future. In his mind, he lacked ability and authority to confront Pharaoh.
· There are times in our lives, just like Moses, where we question God only to have God answer us, but we respond with more questions. Who am I? This will lead us into our personal I am statements in the weeks ahead.
· I will be with you and this sign will follow. Moses’ had his burning bush.
· “I am who I am” is God’s personal revelation to Moses and to us down through the generations. Saviour… Holy Spirit… Healer…
This is a significant story within the Scriptures. God reveals himself to Moses as holy, powerful and supernatural. Moses is confronted with his fears and insecurities. This Scripture passage carries on, revealing that the Presence and Promise of God will overcome. The closing verse to the chapter is great - “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so, you will plunder the Egyptians.” There is an abundance of life made available to us when God reveals himself to us.
What are some lessons learned from today’s passage of Scripture?
What are some difficult circumstances you are facing today?
How do you see God today?