Exodus 3:11 – “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” NKJV
The account that led up to this question was during Moses self-imposed exile from Egypt. He was tending the flock of his father-in-law “Jethro” in the land of Midian and as he neared Mt. Horeb the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a burning bush.
Seeing a bush burning in the desert heat was not an unusual sight but seeing one burning that was not being consumed was something that would catch the attention of anyone and it certainly caught Moses’ eye. As Moses turned to see what this phenomenon was the LORD called out to him and instructed him to not approach as he was but to realize that this was a “divine encounter” and therefore the ground upon which he was standing because of God’s presence was holy ground. God began to detail His knowledge of the oppression of the Children of Israel in Egypt and His plan to send Moses to deliver them.
You must remember this is the same Moses who had been raised in Pharaoh’s house, schooled and prepared to be the leader of a nation. His Egyptian education would have included military strategy, economics, rulership, and many other things to prepare him for the position of leading the people of Israel as God formed them into a nation. He was qualified for the task but having thought that God placed him in Egypt to lead them there by ascending to the throne and finding himself on the run for his life Moses has allowed many questions to become part of who he was.
Therefore, the question Moses asked, “Who am I?” could express humility but in my opinion, it also was a statement of doubt and resistance to the will of God. He had been humbled and humiliated to the point that his self-confidence was gone. One who had walked proudly as an Egyptian Prince now tended sheep in Midian. His view of himself was totally different than the one he held forty years earlier as he walked the palace halls in Egypt. So, the question is valid for any of us about anything that God should choose for us should only be an expression of humility and recognition that we cannot accomplish it in our own strength.
God then said to Moses in the next few verses:
I will go with you.
Moses’ objection expresses his doubt of not only himself but of God. He had believed that it was God’s plan for him to free Israel as a ruler in Egypt. Often when what we believe is God’s plan falls apart and God comes to us with His real plan we hesitate, resist, and even object usually offering what we believe to be legitimate and valid reason (not excuses) as to why this can’t be.
Moses insisted that God tell Him His Name.
This was more of a question by Moses of “by whose authority am I doing this?” God in His incredible patience said “I AM WHO I AM.” Moses was instructed to tell Israel that “I AM” sent him. [I AM whatever you need. I AM all that you need] But he went beyond that and said tell them that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob or Israel has sent you. That should have been enough but it wasn’t for Moses continued to offer objections.
God’s Patience began to grow thin.
He gave Moses signs but it wasn’t enough he still objected that he was not eloquent enough for the task. God assured him that He (GOD) was the one that would speak through Him but that still didn’t satisfy Moses and he objected. That ticked God off and He gave him Aaron his brother to be Moses’ spokesman.
How many times do we ask “Who am I?” as an expression of self-doubt, lack of faith, fear, or outright resistance to the plan of God? Moses could have gone to Egypt, accomplished all that God desired without Aaron who later caused some problems for Israel and Moses as did their sister, but Moses’ resistance opened the door for unnecessary problems. How often do we bring into play problems in fulfilling the purposes of God that could have been avoided had we simply and willingly “taken God at His Word” and obeyed?
May God bless you as you go through your day is my sincere desire and prayer!