Which is It? Who am I? Who is I AM?
Moses’ experience as an infant wasn’t normal. He was born to a Hebrew family: this was normal. However, because of the Ruler Pharaoh’s paranoia of the prolific Israelites, he commanded the He brew midwives to kill the baby boys after they were born.
Moses’ family took care of him in secret for as long as they could, but when he became too big, and too loud! to hide, his mother lovingly enclosed him in a papyrus basket and sent her daughter to put him into the River Nile to float . . . until someone found him.
Did his mother know that the Egyptian Princess went to the river daily to bathe?
Moses’ parents knew they were intentionally setting up their infant son to become one of their oppressor’s household. It was a selfless act of faith; one that God blessed because it happened just as they dreamed.
The Princess heard the baby and was delighted to find him; knowing he was one of the Hebrew babies her father had commanded to be killed at birth. Moses’ sister bravely came out of her hiding place and offered to take Moses to one of the Hebrew women to nurse. Moses was returned to his family, alive, until he was weaned, after which he became part of Pharaoh’s household to be raised as a prince.
Moses was born with an identity of a marked man, and yet, God intervened and brought him into the palace of royalty.
It’s no wonder that Moses grew up confused; not really sure what his true identity entailed. When he saw the Egyptian mistreating the Hebrew, Moses became angry and killed the Egyptian. I bet he expected the Hebrew to be grateful, but the Hebrew confronted him and questioned his identity: “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Moses ran for his life.
He ended up in a desert; there’s not much you can do in a desert except tend sheep.
Imagine that: the adopted son of Pharaoh, the most powerful man in the world, becoming an anonymous shepherd in a faraway desert.
Who, exactly, was Moses?
A marked Hebrew?
A Prince in a Royal Palace?
An anonymous Shepherd in a desert?
The challenge for us as God’s people is to not allow our earthly circumstances to determine our true identity.
Moses was always the chosen son of his Heavenly Father; through his infancy as a slave, in his years as an adopted prince, and in his wilderness experience.
Each experience helped to prepare Moses for the biggest surprise of his life.
He was out in the desert tending his father in law’s sheep when he looked up and saw a bush on fire. The incredible thing, however, is the bush wasn’t burning up. When he took a step closer to watch it, he was stunned to hear a call, “Moses, Moses.”
Moses responded with a quizzical look on his face, “Here I am.”
Then, the Father he never knew, told him who he was: “I AM the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”
And, the Father Moses had just met for the first time, told Moses his true calling in life. It wasn’t as the son of a Hebrew slave, or the son of the most powerful ruler on earth, or the son of law to a desert dweller; his true calling is to act as the Redeemer for an entire nation: the Israelites.
Put yourself in Moses shoes, they are available because he was told to take them off at the burning bush!
What would you do?
Would you run the other way?
Would you fall to the ground in fear?
Or, would you argue with God that he had chosen the wrong person?
Moses argued. After all, his life circumstances didn’t point to anything this important…he’d been hiding out in the desert for years.
So, he asked God, “Who AM I?”
God told him, “I WILL BE with you.
Moses asked, “What will I tell them? Who sent me?”
God answered, “I AM WHO I AM. You are to tell them ‘I AM’ sent me to you.”
Do you see the play on words?
Moses asks “Who AM I?” but God responds in the opposite: “I AM WHO I AM.”
Quite frankly, we have this dialogue with God almost daily.
We question whether we actually heard his voice.
We question whether our dreams could actually be God’s dreams so we bury them in the desert sand.
We allow our accuser to determine our thoughts, rather than the “Great I AM” in our life.
And, we fall in to the trap of believing our earthly circumstances over our heavenly identity.
I am grateful Moses stood up and followed God out of the wilderness and back to the palace, where he was trained to live as royalty.
He allowed God to redefine his true identity, so he no longer lived wondering, “Who am I,” but instead, as the beloved son of “I AM WHO I AM.”
Moses prepared a path for us to follow.
We can stop asking the eternal question, “Who AM I?” and start to believe and follow “I AM” who promises “I WILL BE with you.”
You may look back and see several earthly identities at play as your life circumstances change.
But, my encouragement to you is to LOOK UP! Get to know “The GREAT I AM” who sees you in the desert and is just waiting to strike the heavenly match on your own burning bush!