But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 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.” 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 to you.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord , the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation. “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord , the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go. “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus 3:11-22 NIV
Moses was a man who felt ordinary. He wondered what made God to focus on him. In verse 11, he exclaimed to God and asked, ” who am I ?” But in the next verse, God spoke to him a profound truth. “I will be with you”. How often do we internalize this truth in our lives? God has called each and everyone of us to accomplish His purposes on earth. The most amazing thing is what He has called us to do is greater than our abilities. But as we look at ourselves do we see God with us? God with us is Emmanuel. Today, Christ is with us. He can dwell in our hearts and enable us accomplish great things only if we believe. But Moses still had more questions for God. Who was he to say had sent him? As a strange shepherd from the wilderness he would appear to the Israelites claiming to be sent… But by whom? Moses was genuinely worried. He could see the challenges ahead. He saw the struggles that he would face. Out of oblivion, God called him to go and challenge the powers that be. Its like a shepherd who lived for forty years in the wilderness of northern Kenya being called by God to come to Nairobi to challenge the president. In fact it was more than this. Pharaoh was the undisputed leader of Egypt. Challenging him could have been tantamount to death. But God sent him with a message to the Israelites. He identified Himself as ‘I Am Who I Am’. From verse 15, God gives Moses the explanation to give to the people of Israel about this God who sent him. He’s the same God who made a covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God who promised them a heritage in the land of Canaan which flows with milk and honey. This was not just an ordinary message but one that would prompt Israel to believe in the God of the covenant. After centuries of waiting for the fulfillment of a covenant any one among us would grow weary. But God WHO keeps His word would deliver it through the least likely means…in the hands of a desert shepherd who had had a wilderness encounter with the Him. But God still guides Moses about the strategy to use when approaching Pharaoh. He was first to convince the elders who would then accompany him to the king to deliver the message. God would prepare the hearts of the elders to listen to and accept Moses’s message (verse 18). When God sends us on a mission, He prepares the hearts of some people who give us a soft landing. The conversion of Saul is an example. When all people avoided him God set aside Barnabas who embraced him helping him prepare for ministry. When God calls us out onto an extraordinary mission, He prepares the hearts of people He will use to partner with us. But even as God sent Moses, He made it clear that Pharaoh would launch resistance against the release of the Israelites. God assured him that He would use signs and wonders to pressurize the Egyptians to release the Israelites. In fact as they left, the Israelites had many possessions courtesy of the Egyptians. As we seek to accomplish God’s assignment it will not be without resistance. But as we remain faithful to Him, He will clear the way for us. There are times when we feel compelled to serve God in a certain way yet still face all sorts of challenges and at times feel like giving up. God reminds us through His words to Moses, “His outstretched hand will pave the way for us”. He’ll create a way where there seems to be no way.