Wednesday - June 24th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Exodus 3:13-17
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:21-26
Hallowed be Your name.
Imagine the unusual scene, a bush on fire, an eighty-year-old shepherd, and a voice from the bush calling the shepherd to his life's mission. Notice how the bush does not get consumed by the fire. See the man barefoot and confused. Understand the complexity of the mission - go to the most powerful man in the world and tell Him to let the descendants of Abraham free from their slavery and let them return to the land promised them by God.
Moses got overwhelmed by what God said to him through the burning bush. Moses claimed that God had called the wrong man - suggesting God really wants his more eloquent and influential brother, Aaron. God assured Moses that He was sending Moses to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Moses raised a more significant concern than whether or not Pharaoh would receive him and the message God had for Pharaoh to "Let my people go." He asked, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" (Exodus 3:13).
God replied, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I am has sent me to you'" (Exodus 3:14). In the very next verse, he told Moses, "This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation." What name? I am who I am? What kind of name is that?
The term used by God to give His name speaks of His being the eternal one. In the New Testament, Revelation 1:8 captures the same concept when Jesus is described as the one "who is, and who was, and who is to come." Our God stands entirely apart from time and space; He is eternal. He declares Himself to be self-existent. He is "the Great I AM."
When the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:9-13 says, "Hallowed be your name," it emphasizes how distinct God's name is above all names. As we acknowledge Him by saying, "Our Father Who is in Heaven," we then exalt His name by declaring it unique and set apart. In Jesus' example of this prayer, we learn the importance of understanding just who we are petitioning for help. We are not merely praying to a god that is above humanity, but we are praying to THE God, who is wholly distinct from any other being, including any false gods to whom many offer their worship.
As you pray today with your heart focused early in your prayer on Who God is, you align your heart and mind to the truth that you can appeal to no one higher or greater than God. What confidence comes when we know we are making our request known to the one Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. He can help you. He can meet you at the moment of your need. There has not been, is not, nor will there ever be anyone to Whom you can go that can provide you more assistance and help.
Take time early in your prayer today to acknowledge God. Recognize and declare His being wholly distinct from anyone and anything. Lift up His name in praise!
As we approach God in prayer, we approach the only One capable of meeting every one of our needs.