When the Yahweh saw Moses coming to take a closer look, Elohim called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am!” Moses replied.Exodus 3:4 (NLT, names of God added from OJB and other sources)
Yahweh: I Am, self-existent One
This is The Name. In the Orthodox Jewish Bible, it is now written as Hashem, “The Name.” This is the one name of God that His chosen people dare not utter with unworthy lips. It is that holy; it is that His. I have already written some about this name from Genesis.
What does it mean that God declares Himself “I Am”? How can that be someone’s name? What does it really tell us about Him?
It tells us many things. Many are the souls who have decided what they do not see does not exist; this name clears that debate up in a hurry. Oh yes, God is real. Of all the things in this entire universe, He is the most real; only He is noncreated, indestructible, and enduring through all time.
It also tells us God exists in the present tense. He’s not a relic of an ancient world, passed away like the crumbling buildings and ancient roads we can sometimes find left behind. No, He’s here. He’s always here.
It tells us that since God is real and since He is present, His existence and presence ought to be of utmost importance in our own lives. We run no chance of avoiding Him, and so He must be related to in some way. Our method of relating is up to us, but God must be faced.
And when did He choose to tell Moses all those things? When Moses had given up. Moses had tried to help the Jews – and failed. Failed beyond failure, run away, fled in utter terror into hiding in the desert, and settled into exile. He, the prince of Egypt, was out tending his father-in-law’s sheep – a lower-than-low profession in the eyes of many people of his time – while he bided his time until he could go home to his wife and live his simple, mundane, humble life.
Until here, when the God who is real – the God who is present – showed up suddenly and said, “Face me.” And Moses, who had avoided the gaze of God for so long, had to look Him in the face and not ignore Him anymore.
Moses is not the only one who tried to keep God at arm’s length – who knew of Him without knowing Him. It is easier to talk about God than to talk to Him. He asks us to do scary things sometimes, like go back to the people we’ve sinned against (Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the Jews, if you will) and tell them about Him. But however scary, there will come a point where we must look Him in the face.
Thought seed: Have I been avoiding God, and if so, why and how? What scary thing do I think He will ask me to do that I cannot do? What is it that’s scaring me away?