Today's Manna

February 9, 2017
When You Cannot Trace His Hand...
by Lois McBride
Scripture Reading: Exodus 3

In Exodus 3, Moses is approaching 80 years of age, having lived the last 40 years in the desert as an obscure shepherd watching his father-in-law’s sheep. The early years of fiery passion and headstrong actions had now given place to a much more humble, much more attentive spirit in Moses.

The schooling had been long, lonely, and many times seemingly unimportant. But as the Angel of the LORD called Moses by his name from the midst of the burning bush, He reminded Moses that he was in no way forgotten.

The bush itself was not an unusual sight to Moses as he had become well acquainted with the desert habitat, but to see the bush aglow with fire and its fragile structure untouched by the flames was indeed supernatural. The Angel of the LORD called Moses by name out of the burning bush, instructing him to remove his sandals because he was on holy ground. We will hear God speak to us through His Word when He has our full attention.

God introduced Himself as the God of Moses’ father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, showing that He was not a “new God,” but the covenant-keeping God of the patriarchs, and reminding Moses that He had not forgotten His people. God then reveals that He had chosen Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He instructed Moses to go to the Israelites and let them know that the God of their fathers had sent him to them. Moses replied, “And when the children of Israel ask who sent me to them, what shall I tell them?” Moses was already worrying about his reception, remembering his hasty and humiliating departure 40 years earlier.

When God revealed Himself to the patriarchs, it was often associated with a newly revealed name (Gen 14:22, 17:1, 21:33, 22:14). Moses knew that when he told the children of Israel that God had sent him, the people would naturally ask what name God had used to reveal this to Moses. And that name was “I AM WHO I AM,” revealing God’s eternal and infinite nature.

According to commentary by David Guzik, also inherent in the name I AM is the sense that God is “the becoming One;” God becomes whatever is lacking in our time of need. For example, when we are in darkness Jesus says “I am the light” (Jn 8:12); when we are hungry, He says “I am the Bread of Life” (Jn 6:48); when we are defenseless, He says “I am the Good Shepherd” (Jn 10:11).

God “never slumbers or sleeps,” but is constantly aware of and attentive to the needs of His children. Even when we cannot see movement or change in the deep, dark, distressing, and many times lonely places in which we find ourselves, know that God has ordained His perfect goodness to us before time began and it is He who is faithful to accomplish that very thing in our lives. As the song goes, “When you cannot trace His Hand, trust His heart.”

Texas A&M University Student Resources