Exodus 3:12


1. Moses knew the pomp and pride of the Egyptian court. He remembered how Israel had rejected him when he was more than he was now. Once he had believed himself able for the task, but he was wiser now: "Who am I?" etc. He might serve God in the lowly place he held, but not there. Moses in this the type of multitudes. God's call for service is met on every hand by the cry, "Who am I that I should go?"

2. How God meets this sense of weakness.

(1) By the assurance of his presence. It was not Moses only that should go, but God also. The conviction that he is with us, and that we speak for him, makes the meekest bold, the weakest strong.

(2) By the assurance of success: "Ye shall serve God upon this mountain. He is armed with faith and hope. From self let us look to God and his pledged word.


1. His own thought of God was dim. How then could he carry conviction to the hearts of the people? The same lack of clear, living thought of God keeps tongues tied to-day.

2. How it may be removed.

(1) God is THE UNCHANGING ONE. He had revealed himself to their fathers: he was all this still. It was his memorial for ever. Grasping this thought, all the past is God's revelation.

(2) He takes with him a gospel for present need (vers. 16, 17), and these two things will be God's full revelation. We must make men apprehend the revelation which God has given of himself in the past, and proclaim him as the God of to-day. I have surely visited you, and I will bring you up out of the affliction." - U.

Certainly I will be with thee.
Take this assurance as applying to the whole service of sanctified life, and it entitles us to draw four practical inferences.

I. "Certainly I will be with thee." — THEN MAN IS SERVANT NOT MASTER He should know his place, or he can never keep it. As servant, he should —

1. Constantly consult his Master.

2. Constantly speak in the name of his Master.

3. Constantly be jealous of the honour of his Master.

II. "Certainly I will be with thee." — THEN THE WORK MUST SUCCEED. What is the guarantee of success?

1. Not human cleverness; ministers may be clever, so may churches, etc.; we may have learned sermons, able sermons, ingenious sermons, etc.

2. Not skilful organisation. Cards, bazaars, registers, circulars, etc., all useless as ends.

3. The word of the Lord is the guarantee of success. "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." "My word shall not return unto Me void."

III. "Certainly I will be with thee." — THEN THE SERVANT IS TO BE RECEIVED FOR THE MASTER'S SAKE. "He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me." The true minister carries a blessing with him. The Romans were to receive Phoebe in the Lord. What a lesson to ministers — they are representatives of God!

IV. "Certainly I will be with thee." — THEN THERE NEED BE NO LACK OF GRACE OR POWER. "If any man lack wisdom," etc. "Lo, I am with you alway," etc. "Ye have not because ye ask not, or because ye ask amiss." The servants may take counsel of one another, but not to the interruption of continuous and trustful prayer to the Master.

1. God is with His servants for their comfort.

2. For their guidance.

3. For their safety.Application: Notice —

1. The individuality of the promise, "I will be with thee" — with the one man.

2. The emphasis of the premise — "Certainly." Who is with us in our life-ministry?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. IT WAS CONSIDERATE. Promise made when most needed-at time of weakness.

II. IT WAS EMPHATIC. Leaving no room for doubt.

III. IT WAS SYMPATHETIC. "With thee." Not I will follow thee — not I will go before thee-not I will be near thee — but with thee — as a companion to cheer thy soul; as a friend-to give thee counsel; as a God — to make thee victorious. How can a mission fail when God is with the worker?

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

The mission of Moses resembles that of every Christian minister, in that —





1. Encouragement. God will be with every minister —

(1)As a guide;

(2)To strengthen and support him under trial;

(3)To comfort and console him.

2. Caution. While each pastor rests on the consolation of this privilege, he must not forget the call to watchfulness and holiness which is inseparably connected with it.

(H. Raikes, M. A.)

When I first entered the ministry, twenty years ago, I was filled with an enthusiasm that was as fresh as it was inexperienced in the work of winning souls. I felt sure, when I began to preach, that all the world would hear and be converted. The gospel was so simple; the news so good; the grace of Christ so precious — that I could think of nothing else but that my hearers would at once give themselves to Christ. I was under the impression that the reason people were not converted in greater numbers was that the preachers did not make the gospel simple and plain. This I supposed that I could do. Alas, I was as ignorant as Moses when he made his first attempt to save his brethren. I did not know what the bondage was, though I myself had been delivered. I did not realize the darkness of the unrenewed mind, the enmity of the unrenewed heart. I did not know the strength of the chain with which Satan has bound souls. But, like Melancthon, who had a similar thought, I found that "old Adam was stronger than young Pentecost"; and I confess that to this hour, though I have been in the work for twenty years, I never sit down by the side of an unconverted man, woman, or child, to attempt to lead them to Christ, without a certain sense of fear. My insufficiency always comes before me when I think of what is involved in this work. To persuade a man to reform his life, to give up certain sins and hurtful lusts, is comparatively easy: but to convert a sinner to God is difficult work indeed; and without the aid of the Divine Spirit it is impossible for man to effect it. What answer have we to give to this honest shrinking from a difficult work? Let us hear how God answered Moses: "Certainly I will be with thee." As though He had said, "Why, Moses, you did not expect that I was going to send you down to Egypt alone, to deliver My people? Have you forgotten that I said I had come down to deliver? You indeed are to be My instrument; but I will be with you to make you mighty, and to bring the apparently impossible work to pass." This puts the work in a new light. If God goes with us to the work, then can we undertake anything. When Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and make disciples of all nations," He did not forget to say, "Lo, I am with you alway."

(G. F. Pentecost, D. D.)

God thus puts Himself apparently into a secondary position. Moses is to stand at the front, and, so far as publicity is concerned, to incur the whole responsibility of the proposed movement. It was easy for Moses to say that he was prompted of God to make certain representations to Israel and Pharaoh, but how were they to be convinced that Moses was servant and not master? This is the difficulty of all the highest service of life, namely, that the spiritual is invisible, and yet omnipotent; public attention is fixed upon the human agent, and professions of spiritual inspiration and impulse are treated with distrust, if not with contempt, by the most of mankind. It is the invisible Christ who is with the Church. Were He present manifestly, it is supposed that greater results would accrue from Christian service; but the supposition must be mistaken, inasmuch as He to whom such service is infinitely dearer than it ever can be to ourselves has determined the manner of Christian evangelisation. What, then, is the great duty and privilege of the Church? It is to realize the presence and influence of the Invisible. The Church is actually to see the Unseen. There is another vision beside the vision of the body; faith itself is sight; and where faith is complete, there is a consciousness of God's presence throughout our life and service which amounts to a distinct vision of God's personal presence and government.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Moses has been, as it were, audibly and visibly called to service and invested with authority. A keen pleasure would seem to attach to experiences of that kind. Surely it was a blessed thing to speak face to face with God, and to go straight away from the communing to do the work which had been prescribed. The directness of the interview, the absence of all second causes and instrumentalities, has about it a solemnity which profoundly affects the heart. But is my destiny less Divine because it has been revealed to me under conditions which seem to separate widely between the Creator and the creature? Has God only one method of working in revealing to a man what that man's work in life is intended to be? We do not always see the fountain; sometimes we have to be content to drink at the stream. The danger is lest we imagine the stream created itself, forgetting in our irreligion and folly that the stream is impossible apart from the fountain. A man is sometimes awakened to his destiny by his fellow-men. In other cases a man's destiny seems to be determined by what he calls his circumstances or his environment. But why this wide and circuitous way of putting the case to the mind? We do not depose God by mistaking the origin of our action; we do but show the poorness of our own judgment, or the want of justice which impoverishes our lives of their best qualities. Every man should put to himself the question — What is my destiny? What does God mean me to be and do in the world?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

In the early days of the Theological Seminary at Alleghany, it was often in great need of money. Once, in a time of extremity, the Rev. Dr. Francis Herren, President of the Board of Directors, the Rev. Dr. Elisha P. Swift, also a director, and Rev. Jos. Patterson, met to devise some way of relief. With all their faith, the first-mentioned brethren were greatly dejected, "We have no one to help us," said one of them. "No one!" replied Mr. Patterson, warmly: "Why! I know of a thousand here." The two looked astonished. He continued, "Is not Dr. Herren a cipher? is not Dr. Swift a cipher? am not I a cipher? But Jesus Christ is surely One. And if we put one before three ciphers, does it not make a thousand?" They took new courage, went to that One who is able to help, and did not pray in vain.

beautifully says, for our comfort: "I have a pledge from Christ — have His note of hand — which is my support, my refuge and haven; and though the world should rage, to this security I cling. How reads it? 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' If Christ be with me, what shall I fear? If He is mine, all the powers of earth to me are nothing more than a spider's web."

Amorites, Canaanites, Egyptians, Hittites, Hivite, Hivites, Isaac, Israelites, Jacob, Jebusites, Jethro, Moses, Perizzites, Pharaoh
Egypt, Horeb, Midian
Bringing, Certainly, Egypt, Forth, Hast, Mount, Mountain, Serve, Sign, Token, Truly, Worship
1. Moses keeps Jethro's flock.
2. God appears to him in a burning bush.
9. He sends him to deliver Israel.
13. The name of God.
15. His message to Israel, and Pharaoh, whose opposition is foretold.
20. He is assured of Israel's deliverance.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Exodus 3:12

     1450   signs, kinds of
     5467   promises, divine
     8345   servanthood, and worship
     8624   worship, reasons
     8626   worship, places
     8724   doubt, dealing with

Exodus 3:11-12

     7775   prophets, lives

Exodus 3:11-14

     5968   timidity

Exodus 3:11-15

     1443   revelation, OT

June 7. "When Ye Go; Ye Shall not Go Empty" (Ex. Iii. 21).
"When ye go; ye shall not go empty" (Ex. iii. 21). When we are really emptied He would have us filled with Himself and the Holy Spirit. It is very precious to be conscious of nothing good in ourselves; but, oh, are we also conscious of His great goodness? We may be ready to admit our own disability, but are we as ready to admit His ability? There are many Christians who can say, "We are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves"; but the number I fear is very small who can say,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Bush that Burned, and did not Burn Out
'And, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.' EXODUS iii. 1 It was a very sharp descent from Pharaoh's palace to the wilderness, and forty years of a shepherd's life were a strange contrast to the brilliant future that once seemed likely for Moses. But God tests His weapons before He uses them, and great men are generally prepared for great deeds by great sorrows. Solitude is 'the mother- country of the strong,' and the wilderness, with its savage crags, its awful silence,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Call of Moses
'Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth My people the children of Israel, out of Egypt. 11. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12. And He said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. 13. And Moses said unto God, Behold,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Fourth Day. Holiness and Revelation.
And when the Lord saw that Moses turned aside to see, He called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And He said, Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from thy feet, for the place where thou standest is holy ground. And Moses hid his face, for He was afraid to look upon God.'--Ex. iii. 4-6. And why was it holy ground? Because God had come there and occupied it. Where God is, there is holiness; it is the presence of God makes holy. This is the
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

May the Tenth God's Use of Men
"I have surely seen the affliction of My people ... come now, therefore, I will send thee." --EXODUS iii. 1-14. Does that seem a weak ending to a powerful beginning? The Lord God looks upon terrible affliction and He sends a weak man to deal with it. Could He not have sent fire from heaven? Could He not have rent the heavens and sent His ministers of calamity and disasters? Why choose a man when the arch-angel Gabriel stands ready at obedience? This is the way of the Lord. He uses human means
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

(Fifth Sunday in Lent.) EXODUS iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. And now, my friends, we are come, on this Sunday, to the most beautiful, and the most important story of the whole Bible-- excepting of course, the story of our Lord Jesus Christ--the story of how a family grew to be a great nation. You remember that I told you that the history of the Jews, had been only, as yet, the history of a family. Now that family is grown to be a great tribe, a great herd of people, but not
Charles Kingsley—The Gospel of the Pentateuch

Jehovah. The "I Am. "
WHEN Moses in the desert beheld the burning bush God answered his question by the revelation of His name as the "I Am." "And God said unto Moses, I am, that I am: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exod. iii:14). He who spake thus out of the bush to Moses was the same who in the fullness of time appeared upon the earth in the form of man. Our Lord Jesus Christ is no less person, than the I AM. If we turn to the fourth Gospel in which the Holy
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

Introduction to Ad Afros Epistola Synodica.
(Written About 369.) The synodical letter which follows was written after the accession of Damasus to the Roman see (366). Whether it was written before any Western synod had formally condemned Auxentius of Milan (see Letter 59. 1) may be doubted: the complaint (§10) is rather that he still retains possession of his see, which in fact he did until 374, the year after the death of Athanasius. At any rate, Damasus had had time to hold a large synod, the letter of which had reached Athanasius.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Letter xxv. To Marcella.
An explanation of the ten names given to God in the Hebrew Scriptures. The ten names are El, Elohim, Sabaôth, Eliôn, Asher yeheyeh (Ex. iii. 14), Adonai, Jah, the tetragram JHVH, and Shaddai. Written at Rome 384 a.d.
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

The Training of a Statesman.
MOSES IN EGYPT AND THE WILDERNESS.--EX. 1:1; 7:5. Parallel Readings. Goodnow, F. J., Comparative Administrative Law. Hist. Bible I, 151-69. And he went out on the following day and saw two men of the Hebrews striving together; and he said to the one who was doing the wrong, Why do you smite your fellow-workman? But he replied, Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian? Then Moses was afraid and said, Surely the thing is known. When, therefore,
Charles Foster Kent—The Making of a Nation

Christian Worship,
PART I In the early days of the Gospel, while the Christians were generally poor, and when they were obliged to meet in fear of the heathen, their worship was held in private houses and sometimes in burial-places under-ground. But after a time buildings were expressly set apart for worship. It has been mentioned that in the years of quiet, between the death of Valerian and the last persecution (A D. 261-303) these churches were built much more handsomely than before, and were furnished with gold
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

The Incarnation.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that hath been made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. He was
Marcus Dods—The Expositor's Bible: The Gospel of St. John, Vol. I

Philo of Alexandria, the Rabbis, and the Gospels - the Final Development of Hellenism in Its Relation to Rabbinism and the Gospel According to St. John.
It is strange how little we know of the personal history of the greatest of uninspired Jewish writers of old, though he occupied so prominent a position in his time. [173] Philo was born in Alexandria, about the year 20 before Christ. He was a descendant of Aaron, and belonged to one of the wealthiest and most influential families among the Jewish merchant-princes of Egypt. His brother was the political head of that community in Alexandria, and he himself on one occasion represented his co-religionists,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

On the Symbols of the Essence' and Coessential. '
We must look at the sense not the wording. The offence excited is at the sense; meaning of the Symbols; the question of their not being in Scripture. Those who hesitate only at coessential,' not to be considered Arians. Reasons why coessential' is better than like-in-essence,' yet the latter may be interpreted in a good sense. Explanation of the rejection of coessential' by the Council which condemned the Samosatene; use of the word by Dionysius of Alexandria; parallel variation in the use of Unoriginate;
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Question of the Division of Life into the Active and the Contemplative
I. May Life be fittingly divided into the Active and the Contemplative? S. Augustine, De Consensu Evangelistarum, I., iv. 8 " Tractatus, cxxiv. 5, in Joannem II. Is this division of Life into the Active and the Contemplative a sufficient one? S. Augustine, Of the Trinity, I., viii. 17 I May Life be fittingly divided into the Active and the Contemplative? S. Gregory the Great says[291]: "There are two kinds of lives in which Almighty God instructs us by His Sacred Word--namely, the active and
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Jesus Calls Four Fishermen to Follow Him.
(Sea of Galilee, Near Capernaum.) ^A Matt. IV. 18-22; ^B Mark I. 16-20; ^C Luke V. 1-11. ^a 18 And walking ^b 16 And passing along by the sea of Galilee [This lake is a pear-shaped body of water, about twelve and a half miles long and about seven miles across at its widest place. It is 682 feet below sea level; its waters are fresh, clear and abounding in fish, and it is surrounded by hills and mountains, which rise from 600 to 1,000 feet above it. Its greatest depth is about 165 feet], he [Jesus]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Baptist's Inquiry and Jesus' Discourse Suggested Thereby.
(Galilee.) ^A Matt. XI. 2-30; ^C Luke VII. 18-35. ^c 18 And the disciples of John told him of all these things. ^a 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent by his disciples ^c 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them unto the Lord [John had been cast into prison about December, a.d. 27, and it was now after the Passover, possibly in May or June, a.d. 28. Herod Antipas had cast John into prison because John had reproved him for taking his brother's wife.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Wonderful.
Isaiah ix:6. HIS name shall be called "Wonderful" (Isaiah ix:6). And long before Isaiah had uttered this divine prediction the angel of the Lord had announced his name to be Wonderful. As such He appeared to Manoah. And Manoah said unto the angel of Jehovah, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honor. And the angel of Jehovah said unto Him "why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is Wonderful" (margin, Judges xiii:17-18). This angel of Jehovah, the Person who
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

Of Preparation.
That a Christian ought necessarily to prepare himself before he presume to be a partaker of the holy communion, may evidently appear by five reasons:-- First, Because it is God's commandment; for if he commanded, under the pain of death, that none uncircumcised should eat the paschal lamb (Exod. xii. 48), nor any circumcised under four days preparation, how much greater preparation does he require of him that comes to receive the sacrament of his body and blood? which, as it succeeds, so doth it
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

A Sabbath in Capernaum
It was the Holy Sabbath - the first after He had called around Him His first permanent disciples; the first, also, after His return from the Feast at Jerusalem. Of both we can trace indications in the account of that morning, noon, and evening which the Evangelists furnish. The greater detail with which St. Mark, who wrote under the influence of St. Peter, tells these events, shows the freshness and vividness of impression on the mind of Peter of those early days of his new life. As indicating that
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Eternity of God
The next attribute is, God is eternal.' Psa 90:0. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.' The schoolmen distinguish between aevun et aeternum, to explain the notion of eternity. There is a threefold being. I. Such as had a beginning; and shall have an end; as all sensitive creatures, the beasts, fowls, fishes, which at death are destroyed and return to dust; their being ends with their life. 2. Such as had a beginning, but shall have no end, as angels and the souls of men, which are eternal
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Meditations for the Sick.
Whilst thy sickness remains, use often, for thy comfort, these few meditations, taken from the ends wherefore God sendeth afflictions to his children. Those are ten. 1. That by afflictions God may not only correct our sins past, but also work in us a deeper loathing of our natural corruptions, and so prevent us from falling into many other sins, which otherwise we would commit; like a good father, who suffers his tender babe to scorch his finger in a candle, that he may the rather learn to beware
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

The Christian's God
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1; 17:1; Exodus 34:6,7; 20:3-7; Deuteronomy 32:4; 33:27; Isaiah 40:28; 45:21; Psalm 90:2; 145:17; 139:1-12; John 1:1-5; 1:18; 4:23,24; 14:6-11; Matthew 28:19,20; Revelation 4:11; 22:13. WHO IS GOD? How Shall We Think of God?--"Upon the conception that is entertained of God will depend the nature and quality of the religion of any soul or race; and in accordance with the view that is held of God, His nature, His character and His relation to other beings, the spirit
Henry T. Sell—Studies in the Life of the Christian

Mary, Future Mother of Jesus, visits Elisabeth, Future Mother of John the Baptist.
(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 39-56. ^c 39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand--Matt. i. 18-25], into a city
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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