This is Dave Dawson, glad to be back on the Anchored daily podcast. Our scripture today is Exodus chapter 3. Let’s start with a problem and ask a few questions.
When we are stuck with a big problem or we are suffering, we really want to know if God is with us. Is he still involved in our lives? Is he too busy with other more pressing issues? Will he help to free me in my distress?
In Exodus chapter 3, the people of Israel have been stuck in Egypt for over 400 years. They are slaves to their Egyptian overlords. Their lives are dark. They long for freedom. And, they wonder where God is.
At this bleak point, God speaks to Moses and reveals something unbelievable. He tells Moses “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land.”
God has seen the people’s affliction, He has heard their cries and he has come down to them! That is stunning. What does this tell us about what God is like? He values us and loves us. He is the initiator. He is intimately aware of all we are going through and he has come down to us in order to free us.
Throughout the bible, we learn that God sees us, hears our cries and comes down to us. But there is a culminating example of God coming down to us. That example was in Jesus coming down to us in order to set us free. John 1:1, 14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God coming down to us in Jesus is called the “incarnation.” Incarnation means to take on flesh. God himself took on a human body.
When Jesus came down to us, he perfectly represented who God was to us. What is God really like? Look at the life of Jesus and you will see the character of God incarnated; God’s hidden character is revealed and made known to people.
Let’s double back to Moses. Like Jesus, God gives Moses a mission. He is to go back to Egypt. He is to tell the people God’s name. He is to tell them that God is with them and that he will free them. Moses is to represent the words and actions of God. We could say that Moses is to “incarnate” who God is to the people; he is to put flesh on God’s words and ways to his people. If he will do that, freedom will come to the people. Does that sound familiar? Moses was a type of Jesus
Now let’s move forward into the New Testament. The new testament describes people who do not know God as those who are in bondage. They are lost. Just like with the enslaved Israelites, God came down to them. He came down to them in Jesus. How are people to know this? Like Moses, we who do know God are to represent him to those around us. Like Jesus, we are to “incarnate” who God is. We are to “put flesh” on God’s love and God’s ways. We are to tell people his name; we are to give people the good news that God has seen their suffering and heard their cries and has come down to them.
The fact that God is one who sees us, hears us and comes down to us impacts us in many powerful ways. First, when we are struggling with some very difficult event, we take comfort that God himself is involved in our lives. Second, for those people in our lives who are suffering or don’t yet know God, we have a model for how to minister to them. We, like Moses and like Jesus, we are to see them, hear them and come to them. We are to represent God to them.