“He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. ” (Exodus 3:6, NASB95)
Maybe after all these years I shouldn’t be taken back by this verse, but I am. Every time I read this verse I am struck by the fact that God uses the present tense when talking about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Here are three of Moses’ ancestors that are long past. So long past that not many talked about the days of promise. Enslavement is all that these Israelites have known for 400 years. I imagine that, for many, the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were simply that…stories. But not for God! Even 400 years after Jacob, God’s promises were as present tense as His relationship with the three saints of old. It is NOT that He “was” their God, but that He IS their God. On the day that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush He was also the God of Moses’ ancestors.
God is a very present God even if it doesn’t always feel like it. He is even God today to all the saints who have gone before us. At this we too should hide our faces and bow in holy fear of an eternal God who is eternally present to the living and the dead. This same God calls to you today. Maybe not from a burning bush or through a dream or a vision. But all the same, He calls out to you in His Word, seeking to be the God of your present. It’s not that He doesn’t care about the past. He really does! That’s why He fulfilled promises of the past and redeemed our souls in His Son Jesus. It’s not that He doesn’t care about the future. He really does! That’s why He prepares a place for us to be with Him for all eternity. But there is only one time that matters to him when it comes to our lives and that is the present. It is in the present that we decide to love or to hate; to be obedient or disobedient; to be faithful or unfaithful.
He calls you and me today to believe and live like He is the God of our present. I pray that all day long He can say about me that He IS the God of Tom Donnelly. I pray the same for you!