Discipleship Minute: Captivity #1

Read Exodus 3:1-15, 19-22.

In ancient times, names meant things. A person’s name could describe his character or a defining physical characteristic. God gave His name to Moses to identify His nature and character for the benefit of His people. The Israelites had entered Egypt as honored guests based on their relationship to Joseph. They had prospered in that country, but at the beginning of Exodus things had changed. A new pharaoh had come to power and determined that the people of Israel were a strategic threat to Egypt. His solution was to enslave the Israelites. Moses, as we know, had been a prince of Egypt, but at this point in the account, he was a shepherd in the area of Mount Horeb. It was there at God spoke to Moses through a bush that burned but was not consumed. God introduced Himself to Moses in the context that He had made with Moses’s ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God also said that He knew of the sufferings of His people and would act with power and intentionality on their behalf. He would rescue His people from Egypt and lead them to a new land, the one that God had promised to Abraham. Moses would lead the people under God’s direction. However, the people would want to know God’s name. God called Himself “I AM WHO I AM.” This refers to God’s self-existence and the fact that He is eternal in nature. The people of Israel had a covenant with God and He would keep His promises.

The king of Egypt was not going to let the people leave. However, God was going to perform such miracles in their midst that the Egyptians would beg the Israelites to leave and give them gifts of gold and silver to do so. God was going to intervene in a miraculous way, even though the Israelites were in a state of slavery and oppression. By comparison, our situation was worse because we were in a state of sinful rebellion against God. Yet, God intervened in a miraculous way through Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity. He is the great I AM who came to save those who repent and believe from sin. The fact that He is the great I AM, the self-existent One, means that He will keep His promises to us. Is there an area in which you need to trust in the great I AM today?

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