Exodus 3 again fills my thoughts. As we approach Vacation Bible School, I am reminded of the tenderness of the youthful mind and recognize how some secularists want to take the tender soft flesh of a child’s heart & mind and flash cook it into jerky permeated with their saltiness (preserved from the taint of god). But, once again, the Scriptures speak and I’m asking another question: “Is Dawkins “for real” about the “god of the old testament?” What I’m asking, in fact, is whether Richard Dawkins is cherry picking the negative highlights of a picture in the OT that he is making into an ugly caricature of deity (which he hates). Ultimately, the faux god of Dawkins’ design is a delusion and a straw man.
God promised His presence to Moses in times of sincere doubt, but God revealed more than His Name at the burning bush! The conversation which took place to encourage Moses in his nation leading, Pharoah-confronting endeavor revealed MORE than the NAME. God’s personality shines brightly beyond the flames surrounding the bush.
1. God calls: “Moses, Moses.” – His tender, repeated calls to Moses (by NAME) – HE CARES for you as a person!
2. “I have seen.” I have heard. I know their sorrows. I have heard. I have seen. – what I’m trying to communicate by repeating heard & seen is the literary fact that a chiasm exists in this passage which “points to” the central notion relating to what God knows. God knows the sorrows of His people. Question: “How does He know? The simple answer is … because we told Him in prayer and He has heard and seen them. But that is too simple because it is myopic and fails to consider the Personhood of God. Psalm 103:13-14 give us some insight. He is a father who shows pity. He is aware of what constitutes us…. material and immaterial. He is aware of the substance with which we have been made and is concerned with the defects of sin as well. He cares for us in our affliction, because of oppression and by reason of our taskmasters. Sorrow is something that He is acutely acquainted with (Isaiah 53.3-5) and this speaks throughout the ages.
3. I “have come down.” Here is God’s personal promise of intervention with all power at His disposal.
4. The reassurance to Moses that the plan and the promise haven’t changed – Canaan land is still the target.
The character of the Creator and God of the Covenant comes through in His Conversation with Moses: God cares, acknowledges (how bad it is), encourages, comes through and keeps His promises. What’s so bad about believing in a God like that?! In fact, why would I want to believe in something else!?