Meditations on Exodus 3:14

Transcript of Midweek Meditations podcast episode aired on Wednesday, 2nd September 2020.

We all want good things. We might want different things, but the things we want are the things we think are good. But if we’re honest, we know there are some things that really aren’t good for us. We think will satisfy us, but deep down we know they won’t… I’m sure you could list a few things.

What if we could guarantee we always got what was good in life? Is it possible? Today, let’s mediate on the words of Exodus 3:14.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Exodus 3:14 (NIV)

God encounters Moses in a burning bush on Mt. Horeb, calling him to go and save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Moses asks God how to introduce him to the people. This is how God responds, “I AM WHO I AM.”

We’re going to try and keep this simple. We could spend hours trying to understand what God is saying here, but we’ve only got a few minutes. To help us out, I’m going to dig up the wisdom of the Church Fathers: God’s existence is eternal; God’s existence is life; and God’s existence is good.

God’s existence is eternal

When God says, “I AM,” it reveals his eternal existence. We call this pre-existence. How is God’s eternal existence good? The Church Father, Hilary of Poitiers said God’s eternal existence is good because there’s no beginning and no end — basically, God will always be there. But how is this good for us? Because God cannot die or be destroyed, he will only do what pleases him. So, whatever God does do for us, he will only do what pleases him.

God’s existence is life

When God says, “I AM,” it reveals the source of our daily existence, in fact, the existence of all creation, is directly connected to the eternal existence of God. Out of eternity, God created life and continues to sustain life each and every moment. The Church Father and historian, Eusebius of Caesarea says that God gives life to all things and “their powers and forms, richly and ungrudgingly from himself.”

Did you get the end there? God gives richly and ungrudgingly—that is, he wasn’t reluctant, unwilling, hesitant to give life—no, he was eager, enthusiastic, passionate, motivated, committed to giving life richly to his creation. How could that be anything less than good?

God’s existence is good

If you put the two together, God’s existence can’t be anything less than good. God says, “I AM WHO I AM.” The eternal God will only do what pleases him, and what pleases him? To give life richly and eagerly.

There is no greater security knowing God will never change. There is no greater hope except God will do what is truly good to please himself. If that’s not enough, remember God sent his one and only Son, Jesus, to die for your sins and mine. And he did that to please himself!

The only way this makes any sense is when we understand that we’re the object, the receivers, of his pleasure. This means we can put our faith in God daily to do what is good. We may not always understand why certain things are good, but we can trust what God says is good is truly good. Our guarantee is Jesus. Jesus, who God sends to die for our sins, demonstrates the ultimate good God intends for us. Let’s pray.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, how good it is to know you will always do what pleases you. It blows my mind that you would give your Son, Jesus, to die for our sins. Yet, it pleased you to do that.

Lord Jesus, your obedience to the Father cost you your life. Yet, you did it for the good of all creation, you did it for our own good. Help us to trust you with this day.

Holy Spirit, keep reminding us of all the good things Jesus taught us while he walked this earth. Give us faith to keep pursuing a good God who loves us so much.

This we pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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