The First Thing to Know About God

When God gave Moses His name, He gave Moses virtually everything there was to know about Him (see blogs “What’s in a Name? and “It is What it Is). According to Ephesians 3:19, an impossible thing to get one’s head around. All of God–that’s way too much. But God told Moses three things before He ever gave His name. Maybe we have to believe these three things before we can believe on His name.

The first thing God says to Moses: I have seen your suffering (Exodus 3:7). Job knew a lot about God. He spoke of Him with authority, with certainty, with eloquence, but when it came right down to it, Job thought that God didn’t see his suffering (Job 23:6-7). And because of that, he didn’t trust God, didn’t know God—at all. Perhaps I cannot believe in this God, the real thing, the whole thing, until I believe that. That this time that I’m going through, this hardship, this suffering, this loss, He sees it. He hears my cries, sees my confusion, and catches my tears. Not a drop of me escapes Him (Psalm 56:8), and He sees my suffering.

The second thing God told Moses: I am coming to rescue (Exodus 3:8). One of my favorite passages is Psalm 18. David waxes poetic on his circumstances, the feeling of drowning beneath the weight of whatever horrible thing was happening to him at the time—pick one. There are a lot to choose from. And then he lifts his eyes and sees God, master of the thunderclouds, riding on the wings of the wind, swooping down in David’s enemies to scatter them and to pull David out. I have to believe this, or I will never know the I Am. He sees, and He is on His way.

Last, God says: I will be with you (Exodus 3:12).

God is slightly too big to get my hands around. But perhaps, if I could get my hands around this: God sees my suffering. God is coming to my rescue. And God will be with me. If I could believe that, then I have learned God’s name, His essence, His range of efficacy, His reputation, and His every intention toward me. And this is peace.

Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.