Who Am I?
I’ve been telling the story on and off since college, I think.
That’s when I decided Exodus was going to be my very favorite book.
I think maybe I’ve even told it here before. But today feels like a day to tell it again.
It’s not really my story, you know. The story belongs to Moses. And then again, it is exactly my story most days. I imagine it’s often exactly yours, too.
I wonder, sometimes, if all Moses needed was a little pep talk. God knocked him a little screwy there by that bush that burned, but didn’t. He seemed a little dazed, disoriented with it all. It’s no wonder he stammered around and made up reasons not to go back to Egypt.
God let go an opportunity to boost His servant’s spirits, give him an extra vote of confidence. I wonder if Moses just needed God to say, “Hey, Servant. I like your stuff. I have a project I’d really like to put you on.”
Moses grew up in Egypt, pampered as royalty in the palace while his own people toiled under harsh oppression in the brick mills. When his zeal for justice momentarily took over, he killed an Egyptian to defend a brother, and found himself exiled. Years later, God awakened him from his comfortable slumber tending herds with a booming voice from non-consuming flames, sending him back to Egypt to truly set the captives free.
By then, Moses didn’t want to leave the wilderness.
He read off a list of deficiencies, detailing flaws and shortcomings he felt confident would exempt him from the task at hand.
A manager, in presenting a new challenge to his staff, will often set the tone for a good reception by affirming the qualities that made him select that employee.
You do a great job analyzing the data.
Your last presentation rocked.
Your conflict management skills are top-notch.
You make great decisions under pressure.
But God did not seize the moment to affirm Moses. All he needed was a reassuring pat on the back. And God didn’t give him one.
God did not tell him why he was the guy.
He did not tell him his speaking skills were better than he thought. He didn’t tell him not to sell himself short. He didn’t tell him he still had influence in the palace. He didn’t tell him he threw down a staff like nobody’s business.
God never told Moses that he was born to this. He never told him to pursue the dream that was born the day he killed the Egyptian. He never told him he could do anything he set his mind to.
He never once tried to build him up.
In fact, the only guy He affirmed at all was Aaron, and he was still on his way to the show.
God told Moses one thing.
When Moses asked God Who am I? God’s answer had nothing to do with Moses.
And the answer was everything that he needed.
Who was Moses? He was the guy who was with the One who was with him.