11 ¶ And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Moses begins to express his self-doubt and lack of confidence that he is the person who can do this job. God reassures him. In the exchange God tells Moses to tell the people of Israel who He is, simply I AM THAT I AM. God simply is. He is the source of all reality, time, space, and matter, of things invisible and visible, simply of all that can be said to exist and yet He is beyond that, too. God lives in eternity, limitless time, not one event after another that go on forever, but where all events that we would consider past, present, and future are now.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
It is mind-boggling for us constrained in a finite body and mind. We learned in the Book of Job that all events, no matter how seemingly trivial, result from His direct will or by His permissive will. This is who He is. Nothing can happen from dust forming into a clod of dirt in a farmer’s field to a star bursting into a nova millions of light-years from earth without His involvement. He is the God their fathers worshipped.
When Christ stated these words a crowd fell back.
John 18:1 ¶ When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples. 2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? 5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. 6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Since Adam’s falling away from God by his disobedience men and women had been creating their own religions to appeal to the God-shaped space in their spirits that nothing else but God can fill. It is part of mankind’s legacy to believe in a world that is not part of this world of the flesh and matter. But, the God who created them has begun a work of reconciling man to Himself and we watched this progress through Genesis. Now, He is going to intrude Himself in a very visible way into the existence of the world’s great superpower, Egypt. If we take the Bible as the record of God’s ministry of reconciliation what is happening is amazingly clear.
Most of mankind is the enemy of the God who created them. God is making peace but in a way that, when eternity comes for us, we will know that we had nothing to do with it but to respond in a way that God already knew we would. He has that advantage of seeing the future as well as the past.
Moses is being recruited to play his part in a monumental work, perhaps the most important work of world history before Christ’s resurrection and after creation itself.