He’s a baby floating in a basket, an orphan plucked from the river’s current. He’s an Egyptian prince who lost his crown. A murderer. A man on the run. A shepherd in the dry desert land.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
He’s not forgotten his failure, his crime. There is no hiding who he really is.
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.”
It’s not much of a sign really. I mean how does someone take a huge step of faith and only know it was God when it is all said and done? This is risky. Facing failure, taking responsibility for the crime, risking life and limb to face authority and power like none other. And how will he know? He’ll know when he stands on this very same place with thousands of free slaves worshipping. It seems an impossible task, a pipe dream, and the only way to be completely sure if this is God is when it’s all over.
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?”
This isn’t just about God’s name. We must remember Moses didn’t grow up in the faith of his people. He’s not familiar with the history or prayers, and his question revealed his desire to know who this bush burning God is.
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.’”
Jesus claims this name in the Gospel of John. I AM the Light of the World… I AM the Bread of Life… I AM the Gate… the Good Shepherd… the Resurrection and Life. I AM the Vine… I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life.
I’m like Moses in so many ways. I too have forgotten who I am at times. I allow failure and sin to define me. I make excuses. I focus on my inabilities. I allow fear to distract me.
Like Moses I wonder, Who are you God? What are you really like? Who do I say sent me?
I turn Jesus’ I AM statements into my own words:
I AM light in all your dark places.
I AM your provision. I provide food, time, energy, and money for all that you need.
I AM taking care of you.
I AM sacrificing for you, making a way for you to live freely.
I AM present in you and around you.
I AM your right direction.
I AM your harvest.
In the face of all my am not-s I realize something. It doesn’t matter who I say that I am. It only matters that God is capable of being all I’m not. Jesus can when I can’t, makes the impossible possible, and the ordinary extraordinary.
Jesus is the Great I AM.
(Now it’s your turn if you feel so led. How might you write Jesus’ I AM statements in a way that speaks to you? If you’re willing I would love to hear your inspiration in the comments.)