“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’
He said, ‘But I will be with you’”
“But I will be with you.” A seemingly simple statement. Yet it identifies a major shift in perspective—one that turns everything around completely.
God calls Moses to this great work, something far beyond the man’s ability or expectations, and Moses immediately looks down at himself and begins to question. He sees his weaknesses, his failures, and proceeds to ask, “Who am I to do this?” What I love is that God does not start going down the list of inadequacies to refute them. No, He simply says, “But I will be with you.”
He will be with Moses. And that is enough.
Because God is enough. Enough to accomplish His perfect will exactly the way He chooses. And oftentimes He chooses to accomplish it through the most unlikely of choices.
The time will come for each of us when we find ourselves called to a role we feel is too big for us, one that maybe highlights our weaknesses. Whether we feel a tug on our heart and are willing to walk through preparation and planning for the path, or we find it suddenly laid before our feet with no warning, it is in this moment when we rely not on our abilities or the strength we muster within ourselves—we rely on the strength and wisdom and grace of our God. Because He is with us.
As Moses is processing this shift, as God is working to get Moses’ focus off of himself and onto the God who is with him, God tells Moses His name. “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM…This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations’” (Exodus 3:14-15).
There’s a sermon series by John Piper that looks at the names of God throughout Scripture. The beginning message (found here) is focused on this verse and the meaning of this name, “I AM WHO I AM.” It has really helped solidify for me what this means for us (if you have time to listen to it, I highly recommend). God is exactly who He says He is. His character, His will, His actions, are not at all dependent on anything or anyone else. And this is His name forever. Which means that when He says He is just and righteous and faithful and true, when He says He holds all wisdom and knowledge and power, when He declares that His lovingkindness is everlasting and that we will never be forgotten, abandoned, or ashamed—nothing will ever change that. Because He is unchanging, and He is who He is—and He will never cease to be exactly who He has always been.
What God is communicating to Moses—and to each of us—is that we can count on Him. He will be with us and He will never change. We can rely entirely on Him, staking everything on the promises and power of our God, because He will not fail.
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”