Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" 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 3:13-14 NIV
While the Israelites had been crying out to God for many years, there had been almost no worship of Him. Moses knew that the issue at hand is not about God’s name but His relevance.
Moses believed that if he went to Egypt, announcing that God is ready to move, the Israelites would say that their circumstances had never been worse. They would think: How is this long-silent God relevant to us now? Why shouldn’t we consider some other God or other way to navigate this terrible circumstance.
Terrible circumstances can do this to us. They can hurt so badly and cut so deeply that news of another, better day might fall on deaf ears. We may have once hoped, but now we doubt. Circumstances may have affected us so badly that we wonder if anything that we believe is worth believing.
If we find ourselves controlled by our circumstances, we first need to ask ourselves, “How am I doing with God?” We may have once had burning passion, but now does that same passion sit in lukewarm ashes? Maybe the answers were too long in coming, and we’ve settled in a new place called: Life Without an Answer.
When God shows up and says that He is going to do the thing that we’ve grown exhausted asking Him for, we may find ourselves wondering, “Who is God to show up now after all I’ve been through?”
When God told Moses to tell the Israelites that He is “I am who I am,” God is saying that He defines circumstances, and that He is not defined by them. His power can be described by how He moves in our situations, but our situations do not confine or define who God is. God transcends our circumstances.
God says to every one of us that He exists above our circumstances. They don’t affect His character, power, or personality. Our circumstances cannot define Him, so we must stop allowing our circumstances to shape our understanding of who God is. Instead, we should let our understanding of God and our faith in God shape our understanding of our circumstances.