This week’s question for God from the Bible takes us to the third chapter of Exodus. Here Moses encounters God in a bush that is on fire, but doesn’t burn up. God identifies Himself as the God of Moses’ ancestors: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He tells Moses about the suffering of the Israelites in Egypt and says, “I am sending YOU to Pharaoh to bring My people out of Egypt.”.
Moses responded with the question many of us might ask in a similar situation: “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” In other words, he asked, “Who me?” I can imagine the thoughts running through Moses’ mind: “The last time I was in Egypt I was wanted for murder! If I go back they will kill me! The Israelites don’t even like me because they think I’m one of the Egyptians. Why would they follow me? So Pharaoh wants to kill me. The Israelites won’t listen to me. God definitely has the wrong dude for this assignment. I belong out here… where I’m safe.”
So Moses’ question is predictable and understandable. What struck me, though, was God’s answer.
12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you[b] will worship God on this mountain.”
God didn’t really answer Moses’ question. He didn’t say, “Well, Moses, I’ve had this planned since Joseph first brought His family to Egypt. I knew you were the man for the job before you knew you existed.” God didn’t tell Moses all his good leadership qualities. God didn’t give Moses a pep talk about his abilities. He didn’t even talk about Moses’ Israelite heritage coupled with his upbringing in Pharaoh’s household. In fact, He didn’t talk about Moses at all. Who are you to do this Moses? Nobody really…. except God is with you. And to prove you’re the man for the job, when it’s all over you will have led the people back to this mountain. That’s your sign. Wait… What?!?! Can’t I have a sign before it’s done?!?!?
Have you ever been in a situation where you were so overwhelmed by what you were facing you didn’t even know what questions to ask to clarify things? So you ask the best, most pertinent question you can think of to someone who knows the answer and they just give you some weird, mysterious, off-the-wall answer because they know you’re just going to have to experience it to get it. Then later, after you’ve been through it, it all makes sense. Moses was there.
Sometimes when we’re faced with a God assignment, maybe the answer to all our fear, insecurities, and questions is just God saying, “I will be with you. I’m here. You’ll understand it all… later.”
When has God given you an answer you didn’t understand until much later?