Exodus 3

1Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God’s mountain, to Horeb. 2Yahweh’s angel appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3Moses said, “I will go now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”

4When Yahweh saw that he came over to see, God called to him out of the middle of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”

He said, “Here I am.”

5He said, “Don’t come close. Take off your sandals, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6Moreover he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.

7Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12He said, “Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what should I tell them?”

14God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and he said, “You shall tell the children of Israel this: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15God said moreover to Moses, “You shall tell the children of Israel this, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations. 16Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt. 17I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18They will listen to your voice. You shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, ‘Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh, our God.’ 19I know that the king of Egypt won’t give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20I will reach out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do among them, and after that he will let you go. 21I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. 22But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing. You shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall plunder the Egyptians.”


In the original Hebrew the book of Exodus is actually entitled SHEMOT which means the ‘Book of Names.’  Names are of utmost significance in the Hebrew culture and it is here in chapter 3 that God declares His name to Moses.   Moses is making excuses as to why he can’t go to Pharaoh and the Children of Israel, but God had heard the cries of his people and he was going to rescue them, no excuse from Moses would stop him. 

I am who I am (ehyeh asher ehyeh),I am, it’s not like saying I am getting the bus or I am going shopping, it holds much greater weight than that.  In this context God is saying I am everything, my existence does not rely on the decision of another, my power is not dependent on anyone, my plan, will and purpose do not rely on any circumstance. I am complete in my myself, I amall powerful, I amGod.  Then he says I am the eternal God, Yahweh is my name, and in this God draws in the story of Genesis.  He is God from the beginning of creation and beyond, the sovereign LORD, it was him who called and blessed Abraham, he kept his promise of a mighty nation though Isaac and Jacob and now he was coming to set his people free.  

In the early 1900’s Gladys Aylward was a missionary in China and in a time of persecution and unrest she lead over 100 children through the mountains to safety.  They Journeyed in secret and grave danger until they reached a river they just could not cross, it was impossible.  One of the children reminded her of the story of Moses and how he crossed the Red Sea, Gladys frustrated and exhausted replied to the little girl “Well I am not Moses!”  In response the little girl said, ‘I know but God is still God.’

May be today you feel like you are facing the impossible and everything seems hopeless.  Take heart for the, all powerful, sovereign, eternal God, Yahweh, the Great I am, is still GOD and he has heard your cries and his help is on the way.