January 8, 2013

Who am I?

That was Moses’ question when God spoke to him from the burning bush (Exodus 3), commissioning him to go speak with Pharaoh, and to bring his kinsmen, the Israelites, out of their bondage in Egypt: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (v.11).

Now, of course, we know Moses’ much more famous question from that day, don’t we? ‘Supposing the sons of Israel ask me Your Name, Lord … what shall I tell them? Who are You?’ To that question, God responded with one of the greatest self-declarations in the Bible: “I am who I am”! So it was an all-important question – Who are You? But almost as important as Moses’ asking God ‘Who are You?’ was his asking God, rhetorically, “Who am I?” In other words, ‘how could I have been chosen for such a task? Little old me? Sinful me? Moses, the lowly shepherd? The murderer? The fugitive? How on earth, Lord, could You possibly be selecting me for this job? “Who am I?”’

David asked the very same question when God informed him that his royal dynasty would endure forever, and that his sons would reign on the throne of Israel, world without end: “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me thus far?” (2 Samuel 7.18). ‘How,’ in other words, ‘could you have possibly picked me and my family for such an honor and privilege? David, the shepherd boy? The youngest in my family? The outcast at Ziklag? “Who am I?” He had even greater reason to ask such a question later in life, when he had been enabled to gather together the various supplies and hardware for the building of God’s house: “Who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this?” (1 Chronicles 29.14). ‘How can my dirty hands be the ones to make bring such gifts? David, the adulterer? The failed parent? “Who am I?”’

And then, David’s son, Solomon, found himself asking the same question, in 2 Chronicles 2.6, when it came time for the actual construction of God’s house: “Who am I, that I should build a house for Him?” ‘Look at how young and inexperienced I am … and an illegitimate son, at that? “Who am I?”’

I submit to you that this ought to be the motto of every Christian – “Who am I?” Whatever it is that God has called you to do; whatever blessings he has bestowed upon you; whatever Christian attainments He has enabled you to achieve … there are surely many reason you can think of why you were a very unlikely candidate for such favor from God! We can all say “who am I?”, and then add a whole list of personal disqualifications that substantiate our question, can we not? And yet, in Christ, God has chosen us just the same … to be vessels for honor in His house; to speak His words like Moses; to build up His house like Solomon; to be a part of an everlasting kingdom, like David. It is astonishing, when we pause to think about it, isn’t it? ‘“Who am I” that God has brought me this far? That He should use me to bring others into His kingdom? That He should make a saint out of a sinner? That He should call me His child? That He should have sent His only Son to die for me?  How could He have picked me?’

Never lose your wonder at God’s salvation of you! Never stop asking: “Who am I?”!

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