Slightly Obsessed #181: The Moment before the Moment of Revelation
God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
– Exodus 3:4-6
So they were saying to Him, ‘Who are You?’ Jesus said to them, ‘What have I been saying to you from the beginning?’
– John 8:25
The actor Charlton Heston once told the story of meeting a young couple who were ardent fans.
Gushing at the sight of the famous movie star, they breathlessly announced that they had named their son after him.
“Don’t tell me you named that poor child ‘Charlton,’” he protested.
“Oh, no,” they replied enthusiastically. “We named him ‘Moses.’”
The movie Ten Commandments famously depicted the rise, fall, and restoration of the Hebrew man who would one day lead his people out of Egypt. Set afloat as a baby in a basket to escape the wrath of Egypt, Moses was found by an Egyptian princess and unwittingly restored to his family to be raised as royalty. He was a man with a foot in two worlds, and his choice to follow the faith of his birth family cost him a king’s inheritance. But it gained him an eternal one.
Moses was likely taught about his Hebrew roots as he grew with his real mother. He knew the belief system and traditions of his people. He learned about God. But in the one moment God revealed Himself to Moses in the desert, his world was shaken by a divine force so beautiful, and yet so alien, Moses was afraid even to look at Him. This God was no ancient tribal fairy tale.
Who is He?
Thousands of years later, God’s disciples would be confronted again by the shining; the bush burned and not consumed.
They followed the man, but the force of the authority in Him, the beautiful, yet alien nature that He displayed, often left them bewildered. This man was no mere rebel.
Who is He?
I faced this question many years ago when I first began reading the Bible. One by one, my preconceived ideas of God fell before His majesty and mystery as He revealed Himself to me. And in the years since, as I have learned to walk with Him and trust Him and live in the abundance of His grace, I have bowed in awe of this powerful and wise Sovereign. In the complex world around me and the vast universe above me, I see the work of a profound intelligence. The more I know Him, the more I am humbled by just how little I still understand of my Creator and King.
Who is He? He is more than we will ever fathom on this side of the sun. One day, we will know and understand Him fully. Until then, we live in trust, awed by His faithfulness to us in these moments before the moment of His revelation.