Charlton Hesston, played by Moses, was on the verge of leading 2 million slaves out of the iron grip of Egypt. The Israelites had been enslaved for 400 years (which by the way is about as long as its been since the Minnesota Vikings have been to the Super Bowl), and desperately needed a deliverer.
For forty years Chuck, excuse me – I mean Moses, had been a shepherd in the land of the Midian (which I think is about 200 miles south of Kadesh-Barnea on I-63).
But one day he happened to see a bush on fire on the side of the mountain and for some reason it wasn’t being consumed by the fire! He figured that it must have been like one of those fake gas fireplaces where the logs never burn up. So upon witnessing the miraculous sight, he drew nearer to see if he could spot any sort of gas line.
And when he did…God spoke to him.
“Moses! Moses! Take off the flip-flops from your feet – for you are standing on Holy Ground!”
Moses did so, but he was immediately embarrassed when he noticed a big hole in the bottom of one of his argyle socks.
Jehovah then proceeded to commission him to be the leader of a slave nation who would deliver God’s people from the world’s foremost superpower.
Moses argued with the Lord for a little while (I can’t speak, I’m too old, my socks don’t match, I don’t like Manna Burgers, etc, etc) but God slammed the door shut on all of those excuses. (Just so you know….I tend to avoid these chapters because I’m inclined to make a lot of excuses also).
Finally, Moses said, “If they ask Who sent little old me….what shall I tell them?”
(Pause here for just a moment to let the suspense build. Close your eyes. Listen! In the background you can begin to hear the slowly building crescendo of kettle drums and cymbals and whales singing).
Suddenly, God thundered with His Majestic Voice, “Go and tell them this: “IT IS….WHAT IT IS!!!”
Moses: Ummmmm…say what?
God (even louder and with the drums thundering even more and the whales humming “I Dreamed A Dream”): “IT IS…WHAT IT IS!!!”
Moses: Ah Sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but just what does THAT mean? And I don’t mean to nitpick, but I’ve got 2 million complainers that somehow I have to get past Yul Brynner’s chariots. I was hoping for something a just little more inspirational…you know, like Winston Churchill’s WWII speech, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!” Or Martin Luther King's “I Have A Dream!” speech. But “It is what it is?” Doesn’t that just mean that we can’t change anything and that we’re stuck in our circumstances? That’s pretty depressing! You don’t have any other speeches do you? That’s just not gonna inspire anyone.
God: Ummmm…well OK, I guess you’re right. Not too much faith-building pizzazz in that. How about this, “He Who Shall, So Shall He Who!”
Ok, so Exodus chapters 3-4 didn’t really go like that. But Moses did want something to bring back to the people. They were desperate for a Deliverer. And this is what’s recorded for us in chapter 3 verses 13-14: Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
Those five words, I AM WHO I AM, were all Moses needed to hear. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever! He provided miraculously for His people in the past and He will do so in the present and in the future. He is not the “Great I Was” or the “Great I Will Be.” He is the Great I AM! His miracles are not just for Sunday morning church services, they are for working people in working places on working days! He is TODAY’s God Who cares intensely about your bills, your health, your family members and your soul! He is the ever-present God Who cares for you where you are at right now. What He did in the past He will do in the future and in the present! He cares for you…bring Him your problems today (I Peter 5:7).
God is able to change the unchangeable. It is what it is…but only if you take God out of the equation!
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Dan Vander Ark
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I chuckled, reading the beginning of your article-
then of course, I read on and what you said was so accurate!
Thank you for an unusual way of describing God and us.
Happy New Year to you & yours.