What does your name mean?
Have you ever heard a story end with these words: “And they lived happily ever after.” That’s how the book of Genesis in the Bible ends. God has protected Joseph and used him to save the world from a great famine. But the next book of the Bible, Exodus, begins with everything being bad again. 400 years have gone by. A new king in Egypt (Pharaoh) hates Abraham’s family, the Hebrews, and turns them all into slaves. Do you remember what a slave is?
But there was one Hebrew who didn’t become a slave in Egypt. In fact, he was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter and became a prince in Egypt. Do you know his name?
God wants to use Moses to rescue the Hebrew family from slavery. But, like Jacob before him, Moses has done some bad things and has run away. He ran away from his family and he thought he could run away from God. But can you run away from God?
One day, while Moses was minding his own business as a shepherd, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush – a bush that was on fire but not burning up. God was in the bush, and God spoke to Moses. This is what he said:
Exodus 3:10. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
But Moses didn’t want to go back to Egypt. He was afraid. And he wasn’t sure if he could even trust God. And so he asked God his name. His name?
Exodus 3:13-14. 13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Did you know that God had a name? God’s name is “I am who I am.” Or in Moses’ language it’s Yahweh. Can you say Yah-weh?
Yahweh means that God is all powerful, and all knowing, and that everything comes from him. Yahweh has no beginning and no end. Yahweh needs nothing and he has everything. Yahweh simply IS!
But God also said something else amazing to Moses.
Exodus 3:12. [God] said, “But I will be with you…“
God isn’t just “I Am,” he is also “I will be with you.” God WANTS to be with us. Why? Because he loves us.
And we know this is true, not just because God appeared in a burning bush to Moses, but because God appeared to us as Jesus. Jesus came to us so that we could know God and live with him forever. Jesus came to us, not because God needs us, but because God loves us. He loves us so much that he would come and die for our sins so that his burning love and goodness might live inside of us just like it did in that bush.
Because of Jesus I can know and be with God forever.
With Jesus I can be a burning light of God’s love for others.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the burning bush scene from the Prince of Egypt together. Talk about how Moses must have felt when he met God.
Thank you for coming to us so that we can know God and live with him forever. Help me to be a burning light of love for you.
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