Tag Archives: Exodus 3

Send Someone Else!

The book of Exodus is rich in stories: Hebrew mid-wives protecting the newborn children, Moses drawn out of the Nile River by Pharaoh’s daughter, the cry of the Hebrew slaves for God’s mercy. The central story is the exodus itself as God battles Pharaoh for the freedom of the Hebrew slaves until Pharaoh’s army drowns in the Red Sea. What a spectacular victory, worthy of song and dance (Exodus 15:20-21).

Art Prints
Yet my favorite story is the call of Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3). God calls out of the bush to Moses by name. He tells Moses to remove his sandals because he stands on holy ground. God continues, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I have heard the cries and know the suffering of my people in Egypt. I will bring them to a good land flowing with milk and honey. I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people out of Egypt.”

One can hear Moses cheering through the first part of God’s speech. “Yes, Lord, it’s about time you set your people free.” But then Moses’ cheering stops when he hears God’s plan includes him. Immediately Moses interjects, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Moses then puts forward five different complaints as to why he should not be the one. My favorite comes at the very end, “Oh my Lord, please send someone else” (Exodus 4:13).

I confess that I see myself in Moses’ response. Like Moses, I know that there is mistrust, injustice and need in the world. Like Moses, I know that God needs pioneers who will prepare the way of God and lead God’s people to freedom. Like Moses, I know God is pulling at my heart, mind and soul to be a leader. But like Moses, I too often say, “Lord, send someone else!

The good news in this story is that Moses, after complaining long and hard, went to Egypt and confronted Pharaoh. Moses caught fire and blazed with God’s Spirit. God is trustworthy to give us each the strength and courage to do his will.

To what adventures is God calling you?

Lord Jesus, give me ears to hear and feet to follow.

Names Matter

Oh Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth.
Psalm 8:1

My parents named me John Vincent KellerJohn comes from the Hebrew name, Jonathan (I Samuel 13), which means gift of God.  My middle name is from my father, Vincent Keller, and comes from the same root as victorious or winner.  So my name gives me a certain amount of pride: I am a gift of God and a winner.  Then to keep me in my proper place my last name, Keller, is the German word for basement or cellar.  I need to remember my humble roots.

Names are significant in the Bible because they are not just tags that differentiate one person from another.  Names carry meaning and significance, essential characteristics of a person.  The Lord God revealed his name to Moses at the burning bush when Moses asked him for it: I am who I am.  (Exodus 3:14).  The Hebrew root of this is YHWH and means to be present or to be encountered.   Another translation of YHWH could be I will be present where I will be present, a reflection of God’s promise to be near us and yet free to be God.  Names reveal character.

Jesus is also given a special name.  In Hebrew his name is Yeshua, which means God saves or rescues.  His father Joseph is told to give this name to Jesus because he will rescue his people from their sin (Matthew 1:21).   Later during his ministry, Jesus will rename Simon, the brother of Andrew, to be Peter or Petra (Greek) which is Rock.  Simon Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Messiah is the rock upon which the church is built (Matthew 16:16-18).  Names matter.

I think of that when I walk into Resurrection Lutheran Church.  This congregation is named for the wondrous historical event, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. With Jesus’ resurrection comes the promise that we too shall rise.  We begin the resurrected life here on earth when we die and rise with Jesus in our baptism.  Resurrection begins as we trust, live and serve God.  Our congregation’s name matters because it reminds us of the Vibrant Life of Faith in Christ.

In what ways do you call upon “the name of the Lord?”

Lord Jesus, thank you for fulfilling your calling to rescue us from our sin.