cornerstone of Israel's deliverance from slavery in Egypt was the
revelation of the Divine Name. From a situation of despair and apparent
to Moses that He appeared to the patriarchs 'by the name of God
Almighty, but by my name [the sacred Name] was I not known to them.'
This evidently does not
that the sacred Name was not known at all to Abraham, Isaac or Jacob,
for they swore by it, worshipped and approached God by it,
to Him employing it.
most significant of revelations took place at Sinai. In a desolate
place, a man who was almost dead, even by his own reckoning (Ps.90.10),
sees a thornbush (הַסְּנֶה)
being consumed with fire. However to his astonishment, this symbol of
the curse is unconsumed, and immediately he senses something deeply
he draws near, the Angel of the Lord appears to Moses out of the midst
(מִתּוֹךְ) of the bush. Let's be clear, it is not true to say, 'God
manifests physically as a ...
for God is evidently distinct to Moses from the burning plant, but God
speaks to Moses out of the midst of the bush. He makes the most direct
'I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob.' 'I have surely seen the affliction of My
people...I know their
am come down to deliver them... and to bring them up. ..unto a good
land and a large..the cry of the children of Israel is come unto Me;
moreover I have seen
oppression...' He then gives Moses the most important single charge
ever given to a son of Adam in the whole of scripture, 'I will send
thee unto Pharaoh, that
mayest bring forth My people'. When Moses trembles, God's firm
assurance is, 'Certainly I will be with thee'. 9 times in His first
statement, and 3 times in his
statement, either by pronoun, or first person singular does the speaker
identify Himself as God. In his third statement, three times the
essence, 'I AM who I AM' or I will Be who I will Be.
God entrust a mere creature to reveal this most sacred of all truths to
His deliverer in Egypt. Was this most glorious of insights about God's
very own Being
though another's mouth despite claiming it were God's own? Where if at
anytime is the saying more appropriate that God spoke to Moses
'face to face', as it were,
and 'mouth to mouth' (Ex 33:11, De 34:10)?
Daniel was honoured to receive glorious and amazing truths from
Gabriel, but not of the order of this glory, the angel was most careful
to distinguish himself
the Master who sent him as one sent forth and under commandment
(Dan.9.22,23). When a similar angel comes though speaking on God's
behalf, he is most careful
times to distinguish himself from his Master (Dan.11.32,36,37) in
contrast to the Wicked One who arrogates such title to himself (v.37).
manifestation then did Moses actually see in the Bush, the Angel of the
Lord or the Lord GOD? The text leaves no ambiguity, when Moses
discusses with the flaming
'Moses said unto God' not to an intermediary (v.11,13). When the
Manifestation speaks, unlike the prophets or the angels, the text does
the speaker said, 'thus says the Lord' to avoid dangerous confusion,
but simply 'God said', two times directly, once indirectly or 'the LORD
said' five times directly and twice indirectly.
fears that Israel will doubt him and say, 'The LORD has not appeared
unto thee', for which end the Lord gives Moses strong signs to convince
own words give Moses the most direct and emphatic assurances, that
'they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of
Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of
hath appeared unto thee'. Is this assertion not both
direct and clear even for unbelievers?
why then would you doubt that the LORD did indeed appear to Moses in
the person of His Messenger for this the most significant of all