Moses had his first encounter with God at the burning bush in the desert while keeping his father-in-law’s sheep. He saw a fire in a bush, but the bush was not consumed so he went in for a closer look. The Angel of the Lord (Pre-incarnate Christ) called out to Moses and told him to remove his sandals because he was on holy ground.
The Lord commanded Moses to return to Egypt and lead His people out. Moses questioned God about His name and this was the reply, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14 NKJV).
Basically, “I AM” means to “Exist!” God is the Eternal God from everlasting to everlasting; having no beginning and no end. He is the Self-Existing One. Our small brain cannot comprehend such a being as God. We don’t have enough “wraps” to wrap our brains around God. He just IS!
Later in Moses’ journey with God, he found himself on Mount Sinai to receive the replacement set of commandments. Moses had broken the first set when he saw the idolatry of God’s people when they made the golden calf in his absence.
On Mount Sinai for the second time, Moses asked to see God’s glory. God passed before Moses putting him into a cleft of the rock so he could not look upon the face of God, but was allowed to see the back side of God as He moved pass (See Exodus chapter 33).
In the burning bush episode, God began the sentence “I AM” and now He finishes His sentence with, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, / keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6-7 NKJV).
God declares this about Himself. This is not second-hand knowledge or a theologian’s description of God but God’s own description of Himself.
At the burning bush, God had to tell Moses how to begin to worship, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”(Exodus 3:5 NKJV). Now on Mount Sinai, Moses having walked with Him, needed no instructions but with spiritual instinctiveness bows himself before God, “So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped” (Exodus 34:8 NKJV).
We begin our journey with God with very limited information but as our relationship deepens, we learn more of His nature and goodness. As we learn more about God, we also better learn to worship Him. This desire to know God more, leads us upward and onward into Who He Is.
Just listen to the words of the Apostle Paul describing His desire to know more of Jesus, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians3:10 NKJV). Borrowing a phrase from John the Baptist, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 NKJV).
As we humble ourselves before the Lord to know Him, the revelation of His being expands from our first contact of “I AM” to the wonder of His greatness and goodness. To know Him is to worship Him, to worship Him is to love Him, and to love Him is to serve Him.
Harry L. Whitt
Note: The featured picture is the art work of Suzie Tillman who produces this type art in the space of one worship service on most Sundays during our worship service at New Life Christian Center.