When Moses encountered the burning bush, he had some legitimate questions. He wondered where God had been for the last four hundred years while Israel suffered. He wondered why God let him fail so miserably the first time he tried to rescue Israel. Now he wondered how God could use someone so broken to liberate a nation from the strongest empire in the world.
God did not answer a single one. To Moses’s doubts, he simply said, “I AM.”
If God truly is the I AM, that’s the only thing that matters.
To challenge what the Voice says—to argue against the wisdom of the I AM—is a bit like my youngest son refusing to obey my instructions when I tell him not to put a fork into those little slots on the wall. To him, fork + electrical socket = perfect fit. But I know more than he does. So when my son asks, “Why can’t I do that, Dad?” I could, of course, divulge insights about the principles of electricity: “Well, Son, miles away from here a giant turbine stimulates the electrons in an atom sequence in a way that makes these subatomic particles called electrons jump into the circuits of other atoms, creating a polar imbalance which leads to chain reaction that produces what we call ‘electricity.’ And while toaster ovens and washing machines need this chain reaction to function, if you encounter too much of it directly, it will overload the synapses of your central nervous system, and they will cease to function, rendering you dead.” Instead, I opt for a much simpler line: “Don’t do that, Son.” He doesn’t have the full capacity to understand everything yet, so for now I ask for his trust. Few would say this is poor or lazy parenting.
Maybe you object: “But we’re not children.” Yes, but which is greater: the gap between my adolescent son’s understanding of the world and mine, or the gap between my understanding and God’s? Is it unfair that God sometimes simply asks for our trust?
No matter how many questions Moses had, there was only one pertinent question: Did the voice belong to God? Faith isn’t a blind leap in the dark. It’s not a sentimental feeling that everything will turn out alright in the end. It is a choice to trust the Voice of God because it belongs to I AM. Moses could have dismissed the whole experience as a mirage and walked away. Did the voice really belong to God?
This is the question each of us is presented with: Does “the Voice” in Scripture really belong to God?
J. D. Greear and David Jeremiah, Not God Enough: Why Your Small God Leads to Big Problems (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2018).
We have just released a new Bible Study based on J.D. Greear’s newest book, Not God Enough. These lessons are available on Amazon, as we as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.