-Moses was now pasturing the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro (or Reuel, Exodus 2:18). What a humble job he was now performing compared to the riches and honor he enjoyed as he grew up as an adopted son of Pharaoh’s princess. He had been used to having all his needs provided, and his culture would have taught him that sheep herding was detestable (Genesis 43:32; 46:32-34). Now he was doing everything himself, but God was teaching him about the people he would lead out of Egypt. *Application* God uses every experience to equip us for His good purposes as we stay obedient to His call and direction. Allow every opportunity to become a teachable moment in your life. God doesn’t waste occurrences and incidents.
-It is while he is tending the sheep that the LORD visits him at His mountain, Mount Horeb (or Mt. Sinai). He appears in a burning bush that catches Moses’ attention because it is not being burned up, yet it flames and flames. Moses turns aside to glimpse this marvelous sight (Exodus 3:3). *Application* God will do some amazing things to grab and hold your attention if you are observant enough.
-The LORD begins to speak as He calls out Moses’ name. He tells him not to come too near, for he is standing on holy ground and a respectful removing of the sandals is required. Obviously Moses is afraid and hides his face from the Holy One. Then God assures him that He has seen the affliction of His people who are in Egypt. He has given heed to their cries for help because of their taskmasters. He was certainly aware of the whole situation and their sufferings. Now was the time of His coming down for deliverance from their oppressors and oppression. *Application* God is just and will defend His people. Sometimes this takes longer than we’d like or think, but God knows best and acts when it is perfectly appropriate.
-God’s purposes are indicated in this meeting with His servant Moses. He is going to bring His people out of their slavery to a good and spacious land that flowed with milk (probably refers to the goat’s milk of the region of Israel) and honey (probably refers to the date palm honey of the region of Israel). He also recognized the coming conflict and enemies that would need to be removed in the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites (do a web search to find out more about these ancient cultures that inhabited the land of God’s promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). The LORD promises to be with His servant as He commands him to go to Pharaoh for the release of the captives. Moses doesn’t think that he is of the pedigree to do such a task at this point. God gives him a sign that he will come back to Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai) to worship the LORD.
-Now Moses asks for the Name of this God who is sending him for the deliverance of His people. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM…I AM has sent me to you (Exodus 3:14).” This Name shall be His Name forever. It is the self-existent title of the Living God who is. It is the form of being verb denoting His eternality and reliance on no one. This is the God of the universe making Himself known and revealed to man. This was to be His memorial Name of all generations. From the Hebrew form as it has come down to our English language as pronounced Yahweh or sometimes Jehovah. Kind of mind blowing when we think about it, right?
-God also promises that the elders of the Hebrew people would listen to him and go with him before Pharaoh in this daunting task of freedom. However, a prophecy is given by the LORD that Pharaoh is known by God and he will not permit the children of Israel to go easily. It will have to be by compulsion that they are released. *Application* God absolutely knows the heart of each man and has perfect understanding. This doesn’t mean that He controls or manipulates them in any way. God gives Pharaoh free will just like anyone else, but the LORD knows exactly Pharaoh’s response and reactions before they ever take place. This is how prophesy works. God’s foreknowledge must be understood properly in these seemingly deterministic matters.
-God knows that He will have to strike Egypt with all His miracles for the purpose of getting His children out of slavery. Further, He will bless His children as they go out with favor in the sight of the Egyptians and they will not go out empty-handed. They will end up plundering the Egyptians in the end with their silver, gold, and clothing.
Verse to Memorize: Exodus 3:14