God invites Moses to MEET Him
When Moses was forty years old, he fled Egypt for murdering an Egyptian. He then lived in Midian where he got married and became a shepherd. Now, forty years later at eighty years old, Moses was nearing Mt. Horeb/Sinai and saw a burning bush that was not consumed. Even if we feel God has forgotten us, eventually God reminds us we are remembered! As a 40-year veteran of the desert, Moses investigated the shrub, and God calls to him personally by name. Even in perceived anonymity, God knows us. God tells him to remove his sandals in recognition that God’s holy presence was present. Though God’s call can be recognized with comfort, it should be responded to with caution! Since no one can see God and live, yet God physically interacts with people, and the Spirit of God was at creation and is sometimes manifested as fire, the imagery of the burning bush mirrors the threefold designations of God in the Trinity—Father who speaks, Son (messenger/angel of the Lord) who interacts, and Holy Spirit who empowers (Gen. 1:2; 3:8; 32:30; Ex. 33:20; Jud. 2:1; Acts 2:3; John 1:18). God can transform our ordinary movements into extraordinary moments!
God invites Moses to KNOW Him
After God identifies Himself with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, God shares His plan to send Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and bring them to Canaan—the Promised Land. Moses questions this plan, but God tells him the reason for confidence is not his ability but God’s reliability. God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called. Moses then asks what God’s name is so he can tell the people which God will deliver them from the pantheon of Egyptian ‘gods’. God reveals His name as ‘YHWH’ (from Heb. verb hayah ‘to be’) meaning ‘I am who/that I am—the one who is/will be’ hinting at His eternal, changeless nature. Names throughout history were often chosen to describe the situation or the character of the person being born (Prov. 22:1). Though God knew Moses personally before He met him, God shares His name with Moses so Moses can know Him personally! YHWH will make the gods of the earth’s strongest nation look inept as He takes the Israelites out unharmed and plunders Egypt like a victorious army by only asking for their goods. Those God knows closely, He blesses abundantly!