“Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.” — Exodus 3:6 (NIV84)
Moses has experienced the glory of God burning in the center of an unconsumed bush. He has heard the Lord call him by name and tell him that the ground that he was on was holy. None of that caused him to hide his face. So what did? Well, God said that he was the God of his father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. “At this, Moses hid his face.” At what? This is where you have to put yourself in Moses’ sandals. He was a Hebrew by birth but raised as an Egyptian. He was further away from his true heritage than his fellow Hebrews enslaved in Egypt. Not only that, it had been over 400 years since this group of people heard from God. My guess is that by now, the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had moved from history to legend. If that were true for the basic Hebrew, just imagine how distant that history was for Moses. For him it must have almost been mythological. But not now!
What was for Moses legend and fairy tales had just become REAL in the voice of God speaking to him and calling him by name. And note: God knew who his father was. He was not confused. Others may have mistaken him for an Egyptian, but God knew the truth. He said to Moses, “I am the God of YOUR FATHER, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” In one sentence, God confirmed that Moses’ myths were real and that his true heritage was rooted to that history, no matter how he grew up. Can you imagine what this must have been like for Moses to hear?
I think you can! I know I can! We all have had reason to doubt our heritage back to God and His people because of the life that we’ve lived and the choices that we’ve made. Or maybe others have made us to feel like we don’t belong. Either way, we all can relate to that feeling of hopelessness and abandonment. But all that goes away when we hear the voice of God calling us by name and making us His children. Don’t doubt it for a minute! Your roots go back to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, King David, Peter, Paul and most important, Jesus. He has redeemed us and brought us into the family of God. Like Moses, this fact alone is enough to cause us to hide our faces, not in shame but in deep humility and gratitude.
We and Moses alike find our true identity at the cross of Jesus Christ!