Monday, November 07, 2005
Beyond the wilderness
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. When he passed beyond the wilderness to the mountain of Horeb he saw a burning bush. He couldn’t resist but to go toward it and see what was happening. The bush burning but the flame did not diminish and the bush was not consumed. When Moses asked “who are you?” trying to put a label on this god. Was it the god of the harvest or the god of the Nile, who? The LORD, who was in the bush, said to him “I AM WHO I AM.”
As Moses grew up understanding gods as being in charge of certain things we too grow up with certain understandings of the way things work. We try to fit God into our limited understanding asking, ‘are you this or that?’ We all have to ask ourselves what God is like. What do you think God is like? Can God fit into our brains? Is He confined to being what we want Him to be? Is He good, is He bad?
Moses asked the question, desperately trying to understand the God who he was speaking to. God answered him, “I AM WHO I AM.” What does this mean? Was God simply avoiding the question? Was He unsure of the answer? What’s amazing about God’s answer is that it doesn’t fit into Moses understanding, it wasn’t what he expected. God is saying to Moses, “if you think you can figure me out, you can’t, I AM WHO I AM.”
When we ask that question; what is God like? We cannot try to limit God into an understanding we already have, we cannot think that we’re going to figure Him out. He is larger and greater than what we can know. As He was beyond the wilderness where Moses found Him; He is beyond what we’re familiar with, burning and speaking but never diminishing.