There is an interesting and beautiful pattern in the Scriptures, specifically throughout the Old Testament that speaks of the very heart of God. The wonder of these interactions is that God, in His holiness and sovereignty, specifically comes face to face with individuals like you and me.
Exodus 3 is one of the first encounters of this. Here we see Moses living the life of a shepherd outside of Midian. He has been feeding and tending sheep for close to 40 years and God changes his entire life in just a few moments.
Exodus 3:4-5, 10-12
…God called to him out of the bush. “Moses, Moses!” And he said “Here, I am.” Then he said “Do not come near, take your sandals off your feet, for the place in which you are standing is holy ground.”…
“Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt”….”I will be with you…”
Another instance we see this pattern is found in I Samuel as Samuel was just a young boy, not long after he had come into Eli’s house in service to the Lord.
I Samuel 3:10-11, 19
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel…”
And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him…
Just a few pages over, this pattern also is seen with Saul. Saul was out with his servant looking for some lost donkeys for his father. He was about ready to go home and give up, but at the last minute, his servant suggested they stop at the nearby town and ask the seer that he had heard of. The servant was convinced that this man could point them in the direction of the lost donkeys. Just like God, this was all in His amazing plan, as it was the beginning of a series of events that would allow Saul to be anointed king over Israel.
I Samuel 9:27, 10:1, 7
As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to pass on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel?”
“Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.”
In all of these snapshots of God encountering man, we see two beautiful things. We see a humble heart listening for and ready to talk with God. Moses, Samuel, and Saul were willing to set aside their own heart agenda and listen to what God had planned for them. They may have discussed it with God, they may have looked for confirmation, but in any case they said “Here I am”.
The lovely thing about this is that God spoke clearly back to them with instructions but He ALWAYS assured them that “I am with you”. A promise that never failed.
When we are willing to lay down our hearts before Jesus and offer Him our lives, He will breathe amazing things into us. He will do amazing things through us.
Moses was led to free the Israelites from years of captivity in Egypt.
Samuel was a prophet for God who anointed kings that changed history.
Saul led Israel in defeat of their enemy the Philistines.
God has plans for us that are bigger than we can imagine.
Am I willing to offer myself to Him to do whatever He asks of me for His glory?
May we let our faith walk us step by step and truly believe “Our God is with us!”