I AM with you
One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6
The text describes Moses’ experience witnessing the burning bush. What is the significance of this event? In some sense, God uses this burning bush to reveal something about His own character and glory. God reveals to us His unchanging glory of His mediated salvation which remains the hope and encouragement of those who are in slavery and bondage. He is the God who knows the needs of His people. As He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He remains the God of His people. His eye is on them, His ear has heard their cry, and His heart is towards them (v. 7). In Egypt, in sin, in difficulties of all kinds, God is aware of what His people need. Not only that, God showed to us that He is the God who breaks in to save His people. “So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land” (Exodus 3:8). He will not leave his people where He found them, nor as He found them, but will intervene for their salvation. He did this in Egypt, but supremely in the Incarnation, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Most importantly, He revealed to us that He is the God who does not change. Just as our attention was drawn to the significance of Moses’ name (see Exodus 2:10), so now our attention is drawn to God’s name. He is the great ‘I am’ (the Hebrew form of which gives us the name ‘Jehovah’). He remains the same and His covenant promises stand. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).