Devotion For Friday, December 8, 2017
God’s Promise of Self: the Great I AM
Imagine a small child separated from her mother while shopping. One minute the child was enjoying the colorful toys on the shelf, the next she found herself lost, alone, and crying. Just when it seemed like the mother had forgotten her, she appeared and embraced the child with a huge hug.
Perhaps the Israelites felt similarly about their experience in Egypt. Under the cruel oppression of slavery for hundreds of years, they had been crying out to a God who seemed to have forgotten them. But God’s interaction with Moses in today’s reading teaches us that God had not forgotten or abandoned His people. Notice God’s care and attention: “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out . . . and I am concerned about their suffering” (v. 7). That concern was more than sentimental sympathy. God promised action: “I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (v. 8).
God’s promises of rescue and land were then combined with the most important promise of all: Himself. He told Moses: “I will be with you” (v. 12). And then, when Moses remained uncertain, God gave His very name: “I WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (v. 14). In the ancient world, to give your name was to give your very self. God’s desire, as from the beginning, was to be in relationship with His people. That desire was reiterated here with Moses, and would be demonstrated with mighty power in the coming Exodus from Egypt (see Exodus 4–14).
APPLY THE WORD
The name God gives for Himself (“I AM”) is both personal and intentionally open-ended. Whatever our needs may be, God is the “I AM” who comes near to meet them. What are the needs and concerns of your life right now? You can share each of them with God in prayer, confident that the great “I AM” hears you and is able to provide.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries