Moses’ concern shifted here. God was calling him, but now he had to convince his people that God sent him to deliver them from this oppressor. Here’s the nature of his inquiry found in Exodus 3:13-15:
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.’ ” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
The first question we would ask is, “Why did they want to know his name so badly?” For the Jews, the name held and reflected an individual’s essence. We know of many different names by which God revealed himself — each dealing with a different character, but here we see where the name Yahweh comes from. This shows that God is one who was and is and is to come, the Almighty. He is the God of the past (Abraham, Issac and Jacob) and the God of the future (“remembered throughout all generations”).
Again, the reliance on the nature of God! Once again, he shows us his eternal presence among the universe in general and among his people individually. You see, we grow in despair when we believe God has abandoned us. We grow in despair and grow callous and cold to the things of God when we begin not to “feel” him nearby. And most certainly that was the case with the people of Egypt in 430 years of bondage. The surrounding circumstances seemed to dictate God’s absence — but the reality is that God was quite involved.
So who is God? God is there, and he is not silent.
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