Date Posted: August 30th, 2010
Have you ever wondered “Who is God?” Moses must have. Growing up in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt, Moses learned about the Egyptian gods—Osiris, Hekt, Apis and Ra. One day Moses saw a fire resting on a bush. All other fires go out when they have exhausted the available fuel. A candle only burns until the wax is gone. But this fire was unlike any other. It consumed nothing. It sustained its own life.
Moses had never seen anything like it. He drew closer to look, and as he did, the God who spoke to Adam in an audible way began to speak out of the fire: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6).
Suddenly, it all fell into place for Moses. The God who had appeared to his ancestors was speaking to him! This God could not be confined to any time or place in history.
Then God told Moses the special name by which He was to be called, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). God was saying, “I am the God who called Abraham and appeared to Isaac. I AM the God who wrestled with Jacob, and I AM speaking to you.” Like the fire with no beginning and no end, He depends on no one and nothing for His existence. He is subject to no requirements, restrictions or obligations.
How do we know that He is?
“I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord.” Exodus 12:12
It is all very well for the God of the Bible to say, “I AM,” but how do we know that He is, and that the other gods are not? That is the point of the plagues. Pharaoh did not recognize the authority of God in his life. As long as he continued to worship his own gods, he would never submit to God’s authority.
Much more was at stake than a conflict between Moses and Pharaoh, or between Israel and Egypt. The living God was bringing down the demonic powers that were masquerading behind the false gods of Egypt. Those powers were very real. That is why the magicians were able to produce frogs, though they could not get rid of them!
God was saying to Pharaoh, “You say the Nile sustains you, but I can turn the Nile into a lifeless swamp. You bow down to an image of a frog, but I will give birth to so many frogs, you will wish you had never known her. You worship the sun, but I will turn the sun to darkness. What you have put in My place will become like a plague to you.”
How do we know that He cares?
“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. So I have come down to rescue them.” Exodus 3:7–8
Faced with the oppressive Egyptian regime, the defenseless Hebrews cried out to God. What else could they do? They were completely powerless. The great question is whether the living God can do anything to rescue these suffering people. And if He is capable of doing something, does He care enough to act?
We still ask the same questions of God when we see suffering around us today. Can He do something? Does He care enough to act? God gives us the answer in the judgment that He brings on Egypt.
This week’s Scripture: I will go over and see this strange sight – why the bush does not burn up. Exodus 3:3
This LifeKey is based on the message “Blood,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith preached on January 30, 2000, from the series “Unlocking the Bible.”