Surely after killing a man in a fit of rage and then spending forty years in the backside of the desert, in some rough and barren land, tending sheep for his father in law, Moses must have felt as if God had forgotten him. Moses grew up in the house of Pharaoh’s daughter but was now on the backside of the desert. He didn’t go from rags to riches; he went from riches to rags.
Yet one day while Moses was tending sheep, God spoke to him, through all things, a burning bush. It was a theophany, an appearance of Jesus Christ, and The Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. Then God told Moses He would send Moses to Pharaoh to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Then Moses asked God, whom shall I tell the children of Israel sent me? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and He said, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. So began the miraculous story of Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt.
Then in John chapter eight, Jesus was in a debate with the Jews and in verse 58 Jesus said, verily, verily I say unto you, before Abraham was I AM! Remember the importance of when Jesus said verily, verily. Jesus was not only trying to draw attention to what He was about to say, he was also saying He knew this to be true because He had firsthand knowledge of it. So Jesus told the Jews, before Abraham was I AM! One scholar wrote, “I Am” could better be interpreted as I am the One who is! He is the eternal, unchanging, self-existent God. The Jews knew exactly what Jesus meant when He said before Abraham was “I AM”. At that very point the Jews wanted to stone Jesus to death, because Jesus claimed to be God. Stoning was the punishment for blasphemy, so the Jews picked up stones to do away with Jesus. At that moment, the Jews might have recalled the day when Moses asked God whom shall I tell the children of Israel sent me and God said tell them “I AM” sent you!
Verse fifty nine, then they took up stones to cast at Him, but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple, and going out of the temple went through the midst of them, so passed by. The verse has the idea that God the Father concealed Jesus Christ from the angry mob. Once again, John points out, it wasn’t time for Jesus to be crucified. God was in control. Not even the forces of Hell could stop the redemptive plan of God for all His pleasure would be done.
Although Jesus lived on this earth in human form, God lives outside of time. He lives above time. God is not bound by time. He knows the past. He knows the present, and He knows the future. There are no surprises with God. Nothing happens without His consent. Isaiah wrote in chapter 46, Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
God has it all under control. He is sovereign! We sin and it may seem as if all hope is lost, but there is a God whose grace is greater than all of our sin. Just like in the case of Moses, there is a God, the I AM, who takes pleasure in turning our worst situation into something for His glory. There is a God, the I AM, who takes pleasure in turning our nightmare into something for our good. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose.
We may be on the backside of the desert in some rough and barren land, but even there God is in control. He is sovereign over us. As Michael w Smith sang, He is working in our waiting. He is sanctifying us. When beyond our understanding He is teaching us to trust. For the Great I AM has not forgotten us, oh The Great I AM has not forgotten us!