Careful What You Wish For

Read: Exodus 3:1-15

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” (v. 14)

Mystery abounds here: I don’t know why the bush didn’t burn up or what exactly the burning bush is supposed to mean. God’s “I AM WHO I AM” name is enigmatic yet perfect. And I long for an encounter with God like Moses had. The technical term for a moment when God breaks into our world and reveals himself, like he did here with Moses, is theophany. I often think it would be great if I experienced a similar theophany. It would resolve all my doubts and questions. The life of faith would be so much easier if God spoke directly to me.

Or would it? Look at what happened to Moses after his theophanic experience with God on Mount Horeb. Moses could have lived a long, peaceful life working for his father-in-law. God’s revelation changed everything. Showdowns with Pharaoh, the drama of the Red Sea crossing, living on manna in the wilderness, another theophany on Mount Sinai—all of these things happened following this first theophany at the burning bush. Moses had a long, amazing adventure with God.

“Is he—quite safe?” Susan asked when she learned that Aslan was a lion in C. S. Lewis’s beloved book The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. Mr. Beaver answered saying that no one said anything about Aslan being safe. He is a lion, after all. But he is good! So it is with God. The closer we draw to God, the unfathomable “I AM,” the greater the adventure. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, ask God to reveal himself to you.

About the Author

Jeffrey Munroe is the Executive Vice President of Western Theological Seminary and, in addition to being the author of the best-selling book Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher, is also a poet, blogger, and essayist. His work has appeared in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, US Catholic, and The Reformed Journal.

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