I AM Has Sent Me
I AM Has Sent Me21
I AM Has Sent Me
Main Idea: Because of who God is, He graciously uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.
- Moses’ Call and Commission (3:1-10)
- God reveals Himself (3:1-6).
- God reveals His plan (3:7-10).
- Moses’ Excuses and God’s Responses (3:11-4:17)
- Lack of credentials (3:11-12)
- Lack of content (3:13-22)
- Lack of converts (4:1-9)
- Lack of communication skills (4:10-12)
- Lack of commitment (4:13-17)
- Moses’ Journey and God’s Faithfulness (4:18-31)
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Intelligence? Height? Better hair? My one-of-a-kind friend, Benjie, posed this question to a congregation. During his message on Exodus 3-4, he said with his unforgettable, high-pitched, North Georgian accent, “I’d change the way I talk. I hate the way I talk.” He then proceeded to describe how people poke fun at him about his accent. He used this example to connect us to this passage.
Exodus 3-4 shows us, among other things, how God can use weak, imperfect vessels by His power, for His glory, and for the good of others. It shows us how “God can hit a straight lick with a crooked stick.” Remember what Paul says: “[God] is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us” (Eph 3:20). As we will see, Moses will show himself to be a living example of this verse.
We last left the story with Israel crying out with groans to God because of their slavery. Here we will examine the calling and commissioning of Israel’s mediator-leader, an imperfect man, Moses.
Moses’ Call and Commission22
God Reveals Himself (3:1-6)
Chapter 3 begins by setting the scene of what is about to occur. Moses was leading the flock belonging to Jethro. This seems to be the same individual named as “Reuel” in 2:18. It was not uncommon to have two names in this time period, but some think Reuel was Jethro’s father. “Jethro” means “his excellency,” so it could have been a title of some sort. Notice: they were at Horeb, which is called “the mountain of God.” This is a natural name for the mountain because of what happened there: God showed up. It seems to be the same place as Mt. Sinai, where Moses later received the Ten Commandments. God drew Moses to this place in order to reveal Himself to him.
Moses was “shepherding the flock” (v. 1). It is important to note that Egyptians did not think highly at all of shepherds (see Gen 46:34). It is also important to recognize the shepherding pattern being set here. Moses spent 40 years as a shepherd in Midian. David was also a shepherd who was taken from the sheepfolds to become king. God loves to use shepherds! He even refers to Himself as a shepherd (Ps 23:1; Ezek 34:13). Ultimately, salvation would come through Jesus, the good shepherd, who laid down His life for His sheep (John 10:11).
In verses 2-4 we find a unique encounter with the “Angel of the Lord.” This was not a fluffy little angel in a golden diaper. He appeared out of the fire. He is also referred to as “the Lord” in verse 4. The messenger spoke as God not simply for God. This is what theologians call a “theophany,” an appearance of the invisible God. Many throughout church history, especially the early church fathers, believed appearances like this were pre-incarnate appearances of Christ.
Moses was first drawn in by the burning bush. What an amazing sight! Before Moses’ eyes, he saw a bush burning without being consumed. The “fire” is representative of God’s holy presence. Fire appears later in Exodus and in other Scripture—in a pillar of fire that leads God’s people, fire at Mt. Sinai, in the tabernacle, and the Day of Pentecost. When God forbade idolatry later in Deuteronomy, Moses said, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deut 4:24). The author of Hebrews used this language also in describing how to worship (Heb 12:29). Fire is appropriate because we know that 23we are drawn to fire and amazed by fire, but we also tell children, “Don’t play with fire.” Fire is to be taken seriously. And so is God. He is holy.
Now we must ask, “How might we be accepted by God if He is so holy?” The sacrifices in the Old Testament are pointing to the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus. Only in Jesus can we be in God’s presence. He is our “righteousness, sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor 1:30). “He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight” (Eph 1:4).
The bush “was not consumed” (v. 2). Moses was seeing something mysterious. While it burned, it was not consumed. This is a picture of the never-ending power of God, the One who upholds the universe. God never runs out of fuel!
Then “God called out to him from the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’” (3:4). God called Moses by name. This is significant for all who are called to salvation have experienced God’s personal summons. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus.” Peter said that God “called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). God did not have to call us, but He did, in His mercy. God wills to be known and worshiped. Our natural response should be, “Here I am,” like Moses (and Samuel and Isaiah).
As Moses began to approach the bush, God said, “Do not come closer.... Remove the sandals from your feet” (v. 5). To show the gap between a holy God and sinful man, He says, “Do not come closer.” Again, it is only through Jesus that we draw near (Heb 10:19-22).
As an act of respect and reverence, which is still practiced in many settings today, Moses took his shoes off. In the book of Joshua, a similar experience happened to Moses’ follower, and he is told the same thing (Josh 5:13-15). God then identified Himself with the patriarchs: “I am ... the God of Abraham” (v. 6). Before He entered a relationship with Moses, He entered a relationship with them. God was alluding to His covenant relationship that we spoke of earlier (2:24). God was also giving Moses a bit of personal history of Himself. The God of the burning bush was not an unknown God; He was the God who acted on behalf of these earlier persons. Notice that He does not say “I was the God” but “I am the God.” This indicates that God’s people never really die; they are part of an eternal relationship with God. When Jesus was proving the resurrection to the Sadducees, He quoted this verse. He said, “Haven’t you read ... in the passage about the burning bush? ... He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mark 12:26-27).
24So they exchanged names. That is the first step in forming a relationship. They met each other. Have you met Jesus Christ? Paul says we Christians have come to know God, or rather to be known by God (Gal 4:9). When Moses encountered God, the Scripture says he “hid his face” (v. 6). He was in the presence of the Holy One. It was an awesome scene. Now, as believers through Christ, we do not have to hide our face, for we are hidden with Jesus the Messiah (Col 3:3).
God Reveals His Plan (3:7-10)
God is a sending God. Notice three parts to this commission: (1) God’s motive, (2) God’s purpose, and (3) God’s plan. God’s motive is especially seen in verses 7 and 9. “I have observed ... have heard ... I know about their sufferings.... The Israelites’ cry ... has come to Me.... I have also seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.” Previously, we mentioned how God was moved by an intimate knowledge of the slavery of His people (2:23-25). It appears again here. God hears the groans of people who genuinely cry out to Him. In Luke 18, the tax collector beat his breast and cried out, “Turn Your wrath from me—a sinner!” (v. 13). Jesus said that the man “went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:14). Many of us are turned off by what people refer to as “the sinner’s prayer.” We are turned off by it because it seems that some people use it like a “hocus pocus” sort of thing. It seems that people think if you say the magic words then you can be saved. Russ Moore told about a guy who tricked a man into reading the prayer on a tract by claiming that his eyesight was too bad to read it! The guy went on to read the copyright date and everything. Then the witness pronounced the man a Christian (Moore, “Exit Strategy”). That is crazy. That is not what a real sinner’s prayer that God hears is all about. A prayer that God hears is when a person genuinely cries out to God for mercy and forgiveness in repentance and faith. If you will cry out to Him, He will hear you and save you. It is not about a magical formula. It is about crying out over the misery of your sin and begging Jesus for mercy.
Notice also God’s purpose. His purpose is to transfer His people. He will take them out of Egypt and put them in a place with milk and honey (3:8). It is a land occupied by other nations, and they will have to conquer them later. God is going to save them from something (slavery) for something (worship and witness). That is exactly what has happened to us in the gospel.
Finally, see God’s plan. After revealing His great purpose of redemption, God told Moses the plan: “You’re it.” God says, “I am sending you” 25(v. 10). God is a sending God. Throughout the Bible, God sends people on different assignments covering a variety of issues. Joseph was sent to save lives in a famine (Gen 45:5-8). Here Moses was sent to deliver people from oppression and exploitation (3:10). Elijah was sent to influence the course of international politics (1 Kgs 19:15-18). Jeremiah was sent to proclaim God’s word (Jer 1:7). Jesus said that He was sent “to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). The disciples were sent to preach and demonstrate the power of the kingdom (Matt 10:5-8). Paul and Barnabas were sent for famine relief (Acts 11:27-30), then they were sent for evangelism and church planting (Acts 13:1-3). Titus was sent to put a messed up church in order (Titus 1:5). God is a sending God, and there are a number of holy missional efforts in which one may be involved: church planting, justice, church revitalization, and caring for the hungry. Do you have a holy ambition?
Moses’ Excuses and God’s Responses
Moses makes five excuses for not obeying God’s mission. These stand out by the words “but” and “if” (3:11, 13; 4:1, 10). This section shows that God is enough. Moses was insufficient but God is self-sufficient. God responded to each of Moses’ excuses and questions with statements about His own sovereignty and power. This section is so deeply encouraging. If you feel as though God is sending you to do something beyond yourself, the key is to take your eyes off of your failures and weaknesses. Get a vision of God.
Lack of Credentials (3:11-12)
Moses’ first argument was about himself. “Who am I?” probably implies that he did not have the ability to perform such a task. He asked, “Have you considered my resume? The last 40 years, I’ve been in a wilderness.” Think about it. While he used to be a prince, he is a lowly shepherd now. He is now asked to go to the most powerful person in the world and tell him to let his slaves go free. This would be sort of like a car mechanic declaring war on Canada! Imagine a guy in coveralls carrying a wrench going up to the president and saying, “Let everyone go.”
Not only did Moses not have the ability, but he really did not have the reputation either. He was not well thought of by the Israelites. His26 first task would be to talk to the elders, but he doubted they would listen to him.
In response, God started with promises: “I will certainly be with you.” Throughout the Bible this is what God’s leaders have needed. It is the non-negotiable for serving God. Think about Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Jehoshaphat, and the disciples (Matt 28:18-20). God was with them all. Then God promised a sign saying, “you will all worship God at this mountain.” God intended to bring His people back to this mountain to sing His praises.
Lack of Content (3:13-22)
Moses’ next big question was “what shall I say?” Moses asked, “What is [Your] name?” (v. 13). It was obviously important to know who God is, especially if you are going to tell a group of people that God sent you. Obviously only saying “I heard a voice in a bush” would not be sufficient. Moses wanted to go with God’s authority. What a response God gave him! Let us break verses 13-22 down into two parts.
First, God told Moses to tell them His name (vv. 14-15). God revealed His name “Yahweh” in verse 15 (corresponding to the four Hebrew consonants YHWH, translated “Lord” in most English Bibles). It is connected with the verb hayah, “to be,” mentioned three times in verse 14, which is rendered “I AM” in English.
Great mystery exists here. No one knows for certain how to pronounce YHWH, and the meaning is mysterious also, but the meaning seems to be related to the idea of this verb “to be.” God is. He is central. He has no beginning. He causes everything to be. He is God. Does it move you when you hear, “Tell them I AM sent you”? God is saying that He is absolutely central. “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom 11:36). Is He central in your life? Is He central in your marriage? Is He central in your ministry? God tells Moses that the most important thing about his mission is God Himself!
Behold, the greatness of your God! God is saying that He is selfexistent. As Tozer says, “[God] needs no one, but when faith is present he works through anyone” (Tozer, Knowledge, 36). God is self-existent and self-sufficient. He needs no air, no sleep, and no food. He does not need us, but we need Him! God is not like the Egyptian false gods. He was and is the one true God on whom all things depend.
God is majestic in mysteriousness. We will never have Him totally figured out. God is not a book you read and then put on your shelf. 27God is not a class you take. God is eternal and unchangeable. He says, “I AM.” He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is not getting better or worse. He is infinitely perfect.
Jesus Christ referred to Himself as “I am.” When He was trying to convince the religious leaders that He was the Savior, He said, “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58; cf. other “I am” statements). Then they wanted to stone Him. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the God of Moses? Jesus Himself said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). He is not merely a teacher or moral example, but God. The Bible presents Him as Thomas confesses Him to be: Lord and God (John 20:28).
Second, God also instructed Moses to tell them His word (vv. 16-22). God told Moses that he was to go to the elders and report what God had told him. Moses was learning what it means to be a prophet: to declare what God has said. Notice how God told him that the elders “will listen to what you say” (v. 18). This is not the last time God would promise Moses that people would respond to his message. I know in our day you hear people talking like Christianity will collapse. No, God has a people. Some will respond. Paul says, “God’s solid foundation stands firm” (2 Tim 2:19).
God assured Moses that the elders would listen. The “elders” were those entrusted with leadership of the community. They played an important role in the life of Israel throughout Exodus (e.g., chs. 18; 24). In much the same way, the New Testament teaches a plurality of elders who shepherd God’s flock (Acts 20:17-35; 5:17; 1 Pet 5:1-5; Titus 1:5-9).
Notice also that they were going to say, “Let us go on a three-day trip into the wilderness so that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God” (3:18). Again, you see how God’s people were enslaved spiritually and wanted to be freed to worship (7:16; 8:1, 20; 9:1, 13; 10:3). It is unclear why they only asked for three days. It may be an ancient Near East expression to mean a long journey of an indefinite period of time. What is important about the trip is the purpose: worship. Even though the elders would listen, God reminded Moses that Pharaoh would not—at least, not initially. God told Moses that in response to Pharaoh’s refusal, He would have to intervene with His “strong hand” performing wonders (3:19-20). After God performed these wonders, the Egyptians would allow the Israelites to plunder them (vv. 21-22). What is going on here? God said, “Before you go out of Egypt, I want you to take the women shopping!” God was setting another pattern: the idea of conquering and taking the 28spoils. Paul later said that after Jesus Christ conquered our greatest enemies of sin and death, “He took prisoners into captivity; He gave gifts to people” (Eph 4:8). What is amazing is that the Israelites are simply told to ask for it. God is fighting the battle for them, which is another pattern. Also noteworthy is that these precious metals will be used to construct the tabernacle (Exod 35:4-9, 20-29).
So, what do we tell people as God’s missionaries? We tell them who God is, and we tell them what God has said. This includes what He has done in the past, what He is doing in the present, and what He will do in the future.
Lack of Converts (4:1-9)
Even though God just told Moses that the elders will believe him, Moses lacked trust and confidence. Moses asked, “What if they won’t believe me?” (v. 1). Moses was struggling to understand that God makes converts. His responsibility was to trust God and deliver the message.
In 4:2-9, God responded in His grace by providing Moses with three signs of God’s power: over creation, over people, and over elements in nature. Moses would take his staff and throw it to the ground. When he did so, it would become a serpent, and when he picked it up, it would return to being a staff. Why did God accommodate Moses in this way? “[S]o they will believe that Yahweh, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you” (v. 5).
We might be able to discern a few lessons from this scene. First, notice God’s authority. He told him to “grab it by the tail.” You do not pick snakes up by the tail (or at least I do not!). Many believe that the snake was a cobra. While this is uncertain, we know that as a general rule, you do not mess with snakes. The vicious cobra represented the national god in lower Egypt. I think what God was showing Moses here was God’s great authority over evil, and indeed, over the evil one. At the cross, Jesus crushed Satan’s head. And throughout the Bible there is a running rivalry between God’s people and the enemy. What symbol was on Pharaoh’s head? A snake. All over Egypt, there were pictures of cobras—on walls, helmets, and monuments. Moses was learning something about divine authority here.
We can also learn a lesson of humility. Moses learned about the nature of his leadership with this staff. Moses did not have a scepter. He had a staff. That is leadership in the kingdom of God. He has authority29 over the evil one, but He does not rule like a dictator, but as One who sacrifices for His people, like a shepherd.
Notice also that the staff served as a sign of God’s presence. This staff would also go on to be a visible sign that God was with Moses.
Not only would Moses use the staff, but he would also put his own hand in his cloak. When he pulled it out, it would be covered in leprosy; then, when he put it back in and pulled it out again, it would be healed—this was the second sign (vv. 6-7). It was a sign of God’s power over sickness and death of people.
The third sign was this: Moses would take water from the Nile and pour it on the ground. When he did, it would become blood on the dry ground (v. 9). This sign was a pointer to the plagues to come.
What sign do we have? Our sign is an empty tomb! (Matt 12:39-40). The empty tomb is the sign that Christianity is true, and so is God’s Word. Our God is not dead; He is alive!
Lack of Communication Skills (4:10-12)
This excuse was about Moses’ inability to speak well (v. 10). What exactly was Moses’ speaking problem? We do not know. People speculate it could have been psychological. Maybe Moses was shy and scared to death to speak in public, like some of my students in “Sermon Delivery” class (or as John Piper used to be in college). A student once told me that he was excited but “scared to death.” He asked, “Can I go first?” Whenever someone delivers their first sermon, they often say something like “I am a nervous wreck.” That is good in a sense. Our fear should not paralyze us, but we should feel desperate for God’s help. Our confidence should not be in ourselves; it must be in God (2 Cor 3:5).
Others speculate that it was an educational issue. Maybe Moses failed rhetoric! Perhaps he thought he was not smart enough to persuade the ruler. Maybe he thought he was too old. Or it could be the flip side for some of you, like Jeremiah, who thought he was too young. Others have speculated with other possibilities. Maybe there was a vocal problem—he had a speech impediment of some type. Others claim it was a verbal problem. Perhaps he was referring to the language of Egypt that he lost after being in the wilderness for 40 years. Finally, some say that it might have been exaggerated humility. Is he saying something like Paul: “I am the worst of [sinners]” (1 Tim 1:15), or I am “the least of all the saints” (Eph 3:8). There probably was an element of this in Moses.
30What is clear is that Moses did not think of himself as the best of orators. He felt insufficient to perform such a task by himself. The Corinthians did not think Paul was much of a speaker either (2 Cor 10:10; 11:6), yet he was the most effective preacher-missionary in history! How? He said,
When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom but on God’s power. (1 Cor 2:1-5)
Paul said that he came in weakness, depending on God’s power. Moses had to learn to do the same—and so do we.
In response, God basically told Moses two things: “That is irreverent” and “That is irrelevant.” Concerning irreverence, God said, “Who made the human mouth?” (Exod 4:11). God was telling Moses that He formed him for a purpose. God is saying, “Do you think I do not know about your perceived weaknesses? It is precisely because of those weaknesses that I want to use you so that I may get the glory.”
Then God addressed the irrelevance of the objection. God said, “I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say” (v. 12, cf. Jer 1:4-10). God is looking for reporters, not orators. We do not have to make fine speeches; we just give the news.
Moses’ problem was that he was thinking too much about himself. Notice “I,” “I,” “I.” God was saying, “It is not about you!” It is about I AM. It is about making God’s word known. We should seek to glorify God with our abilities as well as with our disabilities. This reminds me of the last stanza of Cowper’s There Is a Fountain (emphasis added):
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Your flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.
Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I’ll sing your pow’r to save,
When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave.
31Moses was to use his “poor, stamm’ring tongue” and declare God’s word as a faithful prophet.
Lack of Commitment (4:13-17)
This final excuse was not so much an excuse as it was Moses’ desperate plea to pass the responsibility to someone else. He was out of excuses. Every one of his questions had been answered in stunning ways. Now he basically said, “Here I am, send someone else.”
God responded with anger (v. 14a), but He was gracious here as well. He gave Moses some help by sending Aaron (vv. 14b-16). God said, “He will be your spokesman.” They were cospeakers, so to speak. Aaron was an encourager as well. Moses eventually did the vast majority of the speaking. And then God reminded Moses about the signs He would perform to validate the message (v. 17).
Moses’ Journey and God’s Faithfulness
Before Moses left for Egypt, he asked Jethro to let him go see if his people the Hebrews were still alive. Why he did not mention his commissioning from God is unclear. After receiving Jethro’s blessing, he took his wife and his sons. He also took the staff of God with him to Egypt, signifying God’s presence.
In verse 21 we see an important phrase that will be mentioned in coming chapters: “I will harden [Pharaoh’s] heart so that he will not let the people go” (4:21; 7:13, 22; 8:15, 32; 9:12, 35; 10:1; 14:8). There is so much that can be said that we will address later with this idea. For now, just notice that God, in hardening Pharaoh’s heart, is able to fully showcase His power over the enemies of His people.
After God told Moses this, He instructed him to explain the sonship of Israel to Pharaoh (vv. 22-23). God wanted to free His son to worship Him. In fact, the firstborn is a theme that runs throughout the Scripture, from Adam to Abraham to David to Jesus to all the saints (Ps 89:26-27; Jer 31:9; Rom 8:29; Col 1:15, 18; Heb 1:6; 12:23; Rev 1:5). Of course, this appeal insulted Pharaoh. He believed that he alone was the “son of the gods.” Yet God told Moses that He would kill Pharaoh’s firstborn son if he did not let His firstborn son go (Exod 4:23).
As the story continues, we encounter some of the strangest verses in the Old Testament in verses 24-26. Out of nowhere, it seems, God32 “sought to put [Moses] to death” (v. 24)! It is apparently because his firstborn son was not circumcised (v. 24). Moses was to keep the requirement given to Abraham, namely circumcising his sons (Genesis 17). God was remembering His covenant and the sign of His covenant. Zipporah seems to have acted faithfully, overcoming her headstrong husband, and Moses’ life was saved by her act. She did the circumcision instead of Moses here (Exod 4:25). She was showing him that we are only right with God through blood and His covenant promises. Apart from the shedding of blood, Moses was no different from the Egyptians. (For a variety of interpretations on this passage, see Stuart, Exodus.) Likewise, as Christians we know that apart from blood and a new heart (circumcision of the heart), we are no different from unbelievers.
As the journey to Egypt continued, Aaron was now sent (v. 27). He was told to meet Moses, and he obeyed God’s call. Aaron and Moses went before the elders of Israel and told them of what God had done in their lives, thus fulfilling what the Lord had commanded them. And just as God promised, the elders believed (vv. 29-31). God was faithful. Moses worried about this meeting, but it proved an easy win since it was God’s plan.
The chapter ends with a doxology. Even before their freedom, they knew that God was worthy of worship and exaltation. They worshiped God because He “paid attention to” the people of Israel in their misery (4:31; cf. 3:16). What an awesome word in the Bible of redemption: “pay attention” (KJV says “visit”). In the Greek version of the Old Testament this is the word from which we get the idea of a “bishop” or “pastor.” It is the same word that is used in James 1:27, which tells us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” It means to get involved, to shepherd. Throughout redemptive history, God is the God who pays attention to His people; He looks after His people; He gets involved in the situation and rescues them (see Gen 21:1; 50:24; Ruth 1:6; Matt 25:36; Luke 1:68; 7:16). God’s gracious attention should lead to God-glorifying exaltation. Praise God, for He has paid attention to us in our affliction. He has come to us in our slavery and freed us, through Christ. And now, as His people, we are called to pay attention to those in affliction—those with physical and spiritual needs. Do you know this God? This God has come to us in Jesus, the One who said, “I am the door. I am the vine. I am the way, the truth, the life. I am the light of the world. I am the resurrection and the life.” Do you know Jesus Christ?
Not only must we know God through Christ, but we must also elevate our view of God. You will not attempt great things for God if you33 do not have a great vision of God. From these chapters we see that He is holy, self-sufficient, eternal, mysterious, glorious, and gracious.
In knowing God and elevating your view of God, realize that God accomplishes His purpose through weak vessels. Because of this, you can stop making excuses and start trusting His promises. This is one of most encouraging passages in Scripture. Look at who God uses! He can use you as well.
Reflect and Discuss
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? How could God accomplish His plan through you without changing anything?
- Why did God use a lot of shepherds? What are the skills and virtues of a competent shepherd that are also valuable in a leader of persons?
- How is it possible to say the words of “the sinners prayer” without being saved? What is the difference between speaking magic words and genuine repentance?
- Think of people you know whom God has sent on various assignments. What were their assignments? Which of your skills might God be able to use?
- Moses asked, “Who am I?” God replied, “I will certainly be with you” (3:11-12). How does this exchange encourage you to tackle any task God gives you?
- What does “I AM” express about the nature of God? How is that encouraging to those He sends on mission?
- What was the ultimate purpose of God delivering Israel from slavery (3:12, 18)? What is the ultimate purpose of our salvation? What results are secondary?
- Moses was given three tangible signs of God’s power; we have the historical sign of the empty tomb. What is the advantage of a tangible sign? How is the empty tomb even better?
- Name some ways that a lack of talent in speaking can actually be an asset in ministry.
- In what sense was the nation of Israel God’s firstborn son? In what sense are Christians firstborn sons of God? In what sense is Jesus the firstborn Son of God?