Who Is This God?August 16-20
The God Who Calls
When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “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 3:4-6 (ESV)
Someone made up a story about George Phillips of Meridian Mississippi going up to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things. He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?” and he said no. Then they said that all patrols were busy and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be along when available.
George said “Okay,” hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again. “Hello. I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now cause I’ve just shot them all.” Then he hung up. Within five minutes three police cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips residence. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed. One of the policemen said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!” George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”
God began to speak after He had Moses’ attention in Exodus 3:4. Often God’s Word doesn’t touch our heart the way that it might because we don’t give it our attention. Exodus 3 is considered by most to be God Himself appearing to Moses. God used a burning bush to call Moses into service and to lead God’s people out of Egypt.
What extraordinary measures has God used in order to get your attention? Have you responded like Moses and offered yourself to Him?
Thank God for the times He has clearly engineered circumstances to get your attention.
The God Who Calls The Inadequate
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” – Exodus 3:11 (ESV)
A couple married for 15 years began having more than usual disagreements. They wanted to make their marriage work and agreed on an idea the wife had. For one month, they planned to drop a slip in a “Fault” box. The boxes would provide a place to let the other know about daily irritations. The wife was diligent in her efforts and approach: “leaving the jelly top off the jar,” “wet towels on the shower floor,” “dirty socks not in the hamper,” on and on until the end of the month. After dinner, at the end of the month, they exchanged boxes. The husband reflected on what he had done wrong. Then the wife opened her box and began reading. They were all the same, the message on each slip was, “I love you!” (Source Unknown)
Moses had lots of faults and struggled to believe God could use someone like himself. J. Oswald Sanders remarks “His inventory of disqualifications covered lack of capability (Ex 3:11), lack of message (Ex 3:13), lack of authority (Ex 4:1), lack of eloquence (Ex 4:10), lack of special adaptation (Ex 4:13), lack of previous success (Ex 5:23), and lack of previous acceptance (Ex 6:12). In point of fact, the excuses Moses advanced to show his incapacity were the very reasons for God’s selection of him for the task.” (William MacDonald – Believer’s Bible Commentary)
The issue here is not who Moses is, but whose he is. God has sent him, and it is God who will be with him. Moses’ authority is based upon his divine call and the divine presence with him as he goes. One preacher quipped, “God said, ‘Never mind who you are. Certainly, I will be with you.’” And that was more than enough.
What’s on your list of things that disqualify you from being used by God? Many of us seek to avoid God’s call by using excuses like our “lack of information, knowledge, or training.” The truth is we aren’t adequate in ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. The God who calls qualifies and the God who qualifies sends.
Thank God for not disqualifying you because of your inadequacies and imperfections. Thank God for being strong when you are weak.
The God Who Calls Is Sufficient
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And He said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:13-14 (ESV)
Little John’s grandfather was something of a philosopher and never missed an opportunity to give out bits of sage advice to his grandson. “Yessirree, Johnny,” he said one day, “remember, fools are certain, but wise men hesitate.” “Are you sure, Grandpa?” asked Johnny. “Yes, my boy,” said the old man, laying his gnarled hand on the youth’s head, “I’m absolutely certain.” (Bits and Pieces)
There are some things in life we can’t be certain of. However, we can be certain that God is more than able to handle any obstacles that stand in the way of His will. John Piper wrote, “God called Moses and commissioned him to go to Egypt and bring his people out of bondage. Moses is frightened at this prospect and raises the objection that he is not the person to do this. God responds by saying, “I will be with you.”
Warren Wiersbe explained that the name Jehovah is a dynamic name, based on the Hebrew verb “to be” or “to become.” He is the self-existent One who always was, always is, and always will be, the faithful and dependable God who calls Himself “I AM.” (Bible Exposition Commentary)
God says, “Never mind who you are. Certainly, I will be with you.” What difference does it make knowing God is facing your challenges with you?
Thank God for the confidence we can have because of who He is. Praise God for His attributes that give you confidence.
The God Who Calls Uses What We Have
The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” – Exodus 4:2 (ESV)
Most of us are familiar with the great miracles associated with that “staff” when Moses obeyed the Lord. It was insignificant in itself, but it became a powerful instrument when committed to the Lord. Writing on this theme, J. W. Johnson imagined the following conversation between God and some of His faithful servants down through the centuries: “‘What is that in thine hand?’ asked the Lord. ‘A sling,’ said David. ‘It is enough; go up against the giant,’ and the great Goliath fell before the shepherd boy. ‘What is that in thine hand?’ ‘A sword,’ answered Jonathan. ‘It is enough,’ and the brave youth, followed by his armor-bearer, went up against an army, and the Philistines were defeated….’What is that in thine hand?’ ‘A pen,’ said John Bunyan, as he spoke from the arches of Bedford prison. ‘It is enough,’ and he wrote the story Pilgrim’s Progress, which will live while the world endures.”
Don’t sell yourself short, friend! If God has called you to a task, He’ll equip you for it. He merely asks, “What is that in thine hand?” Give it to Him, and you’ll see what He can do with little things. – Richard W. De Haan
God often uses what little we have to accomplish great things so that people will know it has to be from God. What are some of the little gifts you think God has given you that He may want to use to accomplish His work?
Praise God for accomplishing big things with our limited resources. Ask God to show you what He wants to use that you already possess.
The God Who Calls Is To Be Worshipped
Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the people of Israel. Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped. – Exodus 4:29-31 (ESV)
There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: “I wish you would explain to me something.” “Well, what is it? I don’t know that I can explain anything to a preacher.” “What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.” Macready’s answer was this: “This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.” (G. Campbell Morgan)
God’s Word in Exodus 4, as shared by Aaron, moved God’s people to worship. J Ligon Duncan wrote, “the biggest challenge is not going to be Pharaoh, it’s not going to be the taskmasters, it’s not going to be keeping up with a quota in unreasonable settings, the biggest challenge that the children of Israel face is to believe God’s word.” Well, the people did believe in that moment and they were glad to know God had seen their hurt and was going to do something about it.
When’s the last time you went through a season when you were tempted to doubt if God cared? How did you respond once God reaffirmed His love and care for you?
Praise God for being all-knowing and all-loving. Thank Him for His love and care in your life.