During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
God saw, and God knew. And God set in motion his rescue plan. It involved a most unlikely hero. Just look at Moses’ qualifications…
- He should have been killed as an infant but was saved by an Egyptian princess (2:5-6).
- Even though he was born Hebrew, he was raised as an Egyptian by Pharaoh’s daughter (2:10).
- He murdered an Egyptian for mistreating a Hebrew slave (2:11-12).
- He ran away to Midian because he was rejected by both the Hebrews and the Egyptians (2:13-15).
- He failed to circumcise his own son, and if not for the help of his wife, would have been killed by God (4:24-26).
- God called him to be his mouthpiece, but he was slow in speech and tongue (4:10).
Moses was chosen so that it would be clear exactly who was sufficient to save the Israelites. God, alone, is sufficient to save.
And for the first time, we, along with Moses, learn God’s name… “I AM WHO I AM.”
There are so many conclusions we can make from this name… He is self-existent; He is eternal; He does not change… But I doubt Moses was thinking so deeply in that one moment… I think Moses learned that God was personal. That He had a name and He chose to share it with him… Even though Moses had done nothing to earn God’s favor, God chose him anyway.
In Matthew 15, we see Jesus’ exemplifying God’s mercy and compassion to the undeserving. He heals the sick and satisfies the hungry. Just as the Israelites and Jesus’ followers could not save themselves, I am unable to save myself from the consequences of my sin. And even though I have done nothing to earn God’s favor, He gives it anyway. That’s good news! That’s the gospel.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).