We return to a familiar book for the bible readings for this month and the next.
The challenge for us is not to skip through our reading quickly (as we may feel we have read this so many times already that we do not need to read it slowly with reflection) but to contemplate on how God is speaking to you today.
For me, in these 3 chapters, what stood out for me was:
13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
~ Exodus 3:13
When the people ask, “What is His name?… what shall I say to them?”
This was the response of Moses to God when he was told to go to the Children of Israel.
Now, I was thinking… hey… this is God Himself telling you to go. Why ask so many questions?
But then I was also thinking … we know the commission of Jesus to His disciples… which includes us. In the last reading passage, it ended with Jesus saying …
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
~ Matt 28:19-20
The Lord of all creation has sent us… and instead of jumping right in… we ask … what shall I say to them?
Many of us do not participate in this commission because of the same concern that Moses had. They are not sure what to say. They are afraid they do not know what to say.
Sorry… I should have said, WE are not sure what to say… because that is many a times how I feel as well.
We hope that our excuses or inadequacy can sway God.
But God is not a God who leaves us without any resources.
See how God responded to Moses?
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
~ Exodus 3:14
When Moses struggled to know what to say if the people were to question why he is there speaking to them, God responded with a statement about His attributes and character that answered everything.
I AM WHO I AM.
When you think about it, it is not just the “unspeakable name” of God to the devout Jews. Rather, it is also about who God wants Moses… and us to be.
The name of God is hardly honoured, respected and feared in today’s world. In fact, very often, it is used for mockery, for slander and for fun. And sadly, this includes Christians.
But God’s response carries with it something very important that is implied.
God is saying… you just go. Because My promise to you is that I would be there with you … sufficient for your every need and want.
In other words, whatever challenges we face in carrying out the Great Commission, God will be there with us to meet them, just as He was with Moses when he finally went to lead Israel out of Egypt.
The author of Hebrews repeated this thought…
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
~ Hebrews 7:25
God will and is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God ….
We just play our part to speak.. to invite… to live the image of Christ in our lives.
We should have the attitude of Paul. He said,
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry,
~ 1 Tim 1:12
He thanked Jesus because it is Jesus who has enabled him, and put him into the ministry.
Today it is the same for us… Jesus can and is willing to enable us to the ministry of saving souls.
Of course there will be difficulties. Of course it will be difficult.
But Paul was certain and assured that God is able …
12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
~ 2 Tim 1:12
The question is… are we?
We know the name of God. We know the word of God. It’s time to know for us to know what to say to people when they ask why we believe.