EXODUS 3: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU MET GOD FACE TO FACE?
READING EXODUS 3
Then he [the LORD] said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:5-6 (IEB)
11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:11-12 (IEB)
Does the fear of humans who God appears to say something about the fearfulness of God or humans? I don’t think we would fair much better than utter fear to meet God face to face as Moses did. Religious people, maybe like you and me, today fear the Holy Spirit and try to kill or quench the Spirit’s power and movement.
What is Moses asking when he says, “Who am I?”
We might assume a self-conscious doubt of his abilities to lead--later we find out Moses is not a good speaker (4:10). Is this what Moses is talking about? There is a clue in how God responds to Moses’ question. God knows what Moses is asking, and the response is about presence.
“I will be with you.”
Moses goes to the Pharaoh with the authority and presence of God. Later Moses asks, “If people ask who sent me, what shall I say?” Moses is looking for authority and power and presence.
What are we looking for when we go to meet the powers of this world?
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, we admit we fear you, fear your judgment and power to give and take life, but we often live as if we do not fear you. Teach us how to fear you but to draw near, take off our shoes, and listen to your desires.
To you, the I AM, the Always Present Eternal Creator, Timeless, and Beyond Understanding: We are powerless without you. We wake looking for power deep inside. Fitness, money, sex, power, ambition, education, people pleasing, works for a while to please us and send us out into the world. Most days those motivations leave us even more powerless and impotent. Fill us with your presence and authority--you are the Always Present One. We need your authority to do, to be, to accomplish your purposes.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.