“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?’
“God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me.”’”
~Exodus 3:13-14 (NIV).
It is commonly acknowledged that Moses was no extraordinary man. For instance, he was no stranger to sin. We have all harboured thoughts of murder in our hearts—Moses did such a thing (Exodus 2:12).
And yet, he finds himself in this burning-bush wilderness experience locked in conversation with the Lord. The test attains. Will he “go” with God?
We’ve all presumably had times when we’ve felt nervous about responding in kind to what God’s requiring of us. For Moses, he’s got a number of confounding problems—things he just can’t hurdle over. Not without some reassuring words from God regarding the process, in any event.
God ‘Saves’ So He Can ‘Send’
Moses was extremely reluctant to respond as God had directed. He was shaken to his core... “Who me? You can’t be serious,” is the sentiment of his stance.
Take this Yahweh-directive also in the context of him having seen (the burning bush) and heard God and we can begin to appreciate his momentary languor. It would understate things sensationally to say we’d be stunned is that occurred to us.
In relation to ‘the call,’ we seem to have two broad-brushed problems.
Either we can resist the call as Moses did, not wanting to serve a particular way we’re called or not wanting to serve at all—perhaps like Moses it’s due a lack of confidence, or we can want to serve in ways we aren’t really cut out for—our pride directing i.e. it’s not God’s call at all; it’s ours. In the latter cases, God never blesses this sort of service—not in the long run. (I have experienced both the former and the latter.)
And still, we have the same predicament—God’s still there. He’s not going anywhere. And still we’re putting on the front as if he’s hounding us. He’s the most quietly persistent Deity we could imagine.
There is nothing surer really; God saves so he can send. We experience salvation so we may serve. We’re princes and princesses of God on High, but we’re also slaves for his purposes. It’s a double-disunion with heavenly blessings.
God is very persuasive. He will have his way with us eventually. When we’re called, we do it the easy way or the hard way; it’s up to us.
Who Are We to Refuse the Great I am? ~and~ How Could We Not Be Thrilled to Serve Him? ~and~ How Could He Consider Us Worthy of These Things?
To think of these dichotomous questions and the realm God holds with the theology of Moses’ call; these are gargantuan concepts—things we could muse on for a lifetime.
To serve God in such a direct ‘called’ capacity is quite usually beyond comprehension—that he’d have ‘such a task,’ for me!—that we might be important enough in his glorious eyes—predestined even—to play a specific role no one else will or can; not like we could anyway. In him, we are worthy for these things.
In this way we truly know how uniquely special we all are to this all-attending God.
Who truly are we to speak back to God and refuse him the things he put breath in us to achieve?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
General Reference: Philip Graham Ryken, Exodus – Saved for God’s Glory (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2005), pp. 89-99.