“I am who I am”.
Ex 3:14 NIV
We say of some people that they are ‘ruggedly independent’. When someone is more difficult than that we say that “He is a law unto himself”. If we were to engage such a person in conversation he would probably say, “I’m myself – I don’t fit any moulds”.
The God who had appeared to Moses suddenly came alive – he presented himself arbitrarily and without warning to this desert shepherd and everything started to happen. He said his name was “I am who I am”. And it meant he had an independent existence. He would be exactly whom he chose and would not be made to fit any straitjackets devised by his human subjects. When Moses returned to Egypt things didn’t just fit into place and work out finely. Moses and Aaron visited the Pharaoh to get permission to hold a meeting of the Israelites in the desert. The king smelt a rat and imposed harder labour, beatings and trouble. The use of the divine name had apparently brought no improvement in their circumstances. In effect God was saying “I have committed myself to you but I am not at your unfettered disposal. You don’t own me, and you can’t manipulate me to your heart’s desire – I am who I am and not what you want me to be”.
So often we find God surprising us, even today. We shake our heads and wonder at the strangeness of his ways. It takes great dedication and a deep faith to remain faithful and loyal when there seems to be no human sense to some of God’s ways. The Christian disciple does what Moses did – and follows obediently and doggedly where the Lord leads, with or without any questions.
Lord, where I cannot understand, help me to trust.