God called Moses, who was 80 years old and living as a humble shepherd in the then-backwater region of Midian. After 40 years of exile, he was physically and socially exhausted. Nevertheless, God chose him to be His great servant, tasked with the momentous work of liberating the Israelites, establishing a vassal state, and conquering Canaan. This divine calling was forceful, as God always acts with force when providing salvation or calling someone in life (Exodus 3:10).
Coming to Mount Horeb
As Moses led the flocks of Idro, he arrived at Mount Horeb, also known as Mount Sinai. Located at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, this mountain earned the name “Mountain of God” (Har HaElohim) because it was where God appeared and gave the Law to the Israelites through Moses (Exodus 9, 20). While God’s presence often caused terror, this time someone had to inform Moses that God was near. God revealed Himself through a messenger, signaling Moses’ encounter with the Almighty (Exodus 3:1-6).
God comes to Israel’s aid
God came to Israel’s aid, revealing Himself as the God of their ancestors and the One who would help His people. Having led them out of Egypt, God left His heavenly abode to draw near to them. Though Moses couldn’t see God, he covered his face out of reverence upon hearing His words. This interaction indicated that God was sending Moses on a special mission directly to the mighty Pharaoh of Egypt. Given Egypt’s prominence in the ancient Near East, Moses’ command to lead the Israelites out of Egypt was a matter of life and death (Exodus 3:6-8).
Moses’ specification and God’s assurance
When God called Moses to be the savior of Israel, Moses humbly expressed his inadequacy for the task. Many prophets responded with similar humility when called by God. Yet, God assured Moses, saying, “I will certainly be with you,” and promising that Moses and the people would return to the mountain after their deliverance from Egypt. With these assurances, Moses had to trust and be content (Exodus 3:11-12).
Guarantees in the name of God
In a world where multiple gods were believed to exist, God revealed His name to make Himself known. A name goes beyond mere distinction; it reveals something about the nature of the one who bears it. The name of the God of Israel, often approximated as ‘Yahweh,’ carries the meaning “he will be” or “he will always be there (for you).” God chose to unveil this name, signifying that Israel owes its existence solely to the God who brought them out of Egypt. It also assures that God will be there for His people in the future, just as He was in the saving act of the Exodus (Exodus 3:13-15).
God assigns special tasks to His saints, sometimes leading them to places where their lives may be endangered. Nonetheless, we are called to boldly go where we are sent, trusting and obeying God without fear (Deuteronomy 13:4; Hebrews 5:9). By introducing Himself as “the God of your fathers,” God emphasizes the deep connection to Him throughout history. He demonstrates that He will be the God of His people not only in the past but also in the future and for eternity. Let us not perceive God as confined to the past but recognize that He is the same faithful God of biblical times, present now, and who will dwell with us in the future as citizens of heaven.