An Exploration of God’s Character in Exodus
We’ve spent the last several weeks looking into great leaders’ lives. We’ve explored the areas that the Lord worked in them to build up their character and their stories, in order to lead a multitude of other people to Him. Here’s the thing, we’ve looked at a lot of people. Now I want to look to God.
I’ve started a new devotional series in my private times with the Lord. I had spent a few years exploring my identity in the Lord and my identity in the world. Now I’ve decided to study the names and character of God Himself throughout Scripture. I think while learning more about the Lord Himself, I’ll understand more about His creation too. A deeper look into the treasured relationship we share with this Awesome God.
Genesis was a fascinating read. As I studied the nature and names of God, I noticed something taking place between the relationships of His people. I was feeling close to the Lord and thrilled with all that He was doing through Noah and Abraham. Then Isaac came along. The name Yahweh started to fade a bit. By the time Jacob’s sons came, there was little talk about and with God. They became more removed from him by each generation. Joseph began to revive it a bit, but still, Yahweh wasn’t mentioned. No close and deep relationship. Joseph loved and respected God, but he didn’t have a connection like Abraham did.
To be honest, I felt the depravity of God in their lives as I continued to read through Genesis. My heart grew sad and I felt a void as I read through each chapter. There were chapters where the Lord wasn’t even mentioned. He didn’t have any special encounters with them, because they weren’t looking for or in need of Him. The people were satisfied multiplying their families and growing their wealth in abundance. They knew the covenant promise God gave to Abraham and saw it being lived out. That was enough for them.
Then came the book of Exodus. The people were desperate for a saviour. They needed someone to come in and rescue them from the terrible oppression they were under by the Egyptians. God, being the amazing hero that He is, listened to their cry for help and stepped in.
It wasn’t that He didn’t hear them all along. They hadn’t looked for Him yet. They only had their eyes on themselves. When they couldn’t take it any longer, their pleas encouraged God’s compassion to help.
As I read through Exodus 3, my heart stirred within me. Joy and awe returned. It was like drinking a large cool glass of water on a hot, dry day. The Lord returned. He met with Moses in a burning bush and declared in multiple ways who He was and what He was about to do through Moses.
I pray that the discoveries I found hidden within the words of Exodus 3 will ignite passion and reverence in your heart like it did mine. I read through the chapter once highlighting all the names and references of the Lord. I thought the chapter was pretty neat in the conversation God had with Moses.
Then I went back and thought deeper about each name mentioned, recording my findings. That’s when the depth of all God shared with Moses came to light.
Let’s explore this together:
(all highlights have been added to the Scripture. All verses referenced were taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Exodus 3:1 – “…[Moses] led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.”
God met with Moses on Mount Horeb. This mountain is also known as Mount Sinai. This first encounter would become a frequent place that the Lord and Moses would meet together after Moses guided the Israelites up out of Egypt. Where it began is close to where it ended for Moses. He would receive the Ten Commandments and the Law on this mountain. The Lord was very intentional in meeting Moses on here to instruct him of His plans to have Moses lead His people. Because of this encounter at this place, Moses would be able to recall this commissioning to mind every day that he led and served the Israelites in the wilderness. He would remember who God is and what He said.
Exodus 3:2 – “Then the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed.”
The Angel of the LORD – The Messenger of Yahweh, appeared to Moses with a great message of hope, faith, courage, and servant leadership. It was a commissioning. The Lord Himself brought the message instead of sending any other angel.
A flame of fire that did not consume would refer to Holy Spirit. He is breath, fire, and water. It was God Himself as fire before Moses, which is why the bush was not consumed. He was revealing to Moses a special aspect of Himself that He would use later to guide the Israelites by night:
“The LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so they could travel day or night” – Exodus 13:31
Exodus 3:4-5 – “When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called out to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
“Here I am,” he answered.
“Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Oh, there is so much to these two verses alone. The Lord saw the curiosity and intrigue of Moses. How could the bush be burning and not consumed? He knew Moses’ heart. He waited until he got closer. Then He called out to him.
The Word of God spoke to Moses. Why is this interesting? Well, let’s think for a moment. Who is the Word of God? Obviously, He is God Himself speaking, but there is an element of God being evidenced here. Let’s look at John 1:
“In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God from the beginning.
…The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son
from the Father,
full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1,2,14
The Word of God, the One speaking to Moses was Jesus, the Angel of the Lord. He is the physical representation of God Himself. This was before His human manifestation. So, we have God the Father, Jesus, and the Spirit represented in this encounter with Moses within five short verses.
The Lord also highlighted the fact that the ground Moses was standing on was holy. The ground wasn’t anything special in itself. But when God is present, His holiness fills the space He is in. God is holy. We need to respect and revere His presence.
I’ll leave you in awe of this thought to process, study, and ponder this passage. We’ll continue to explore the rest of God’s character and commissioning to Moses next week.