A Burning Bush
God will sometimes reveal himself in unexpected ways, as was the case for Moses as he went about his daily tasks keeping the flock of his father-in-law. Moses leads the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and the angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel appeared in a flame of fire in the midst of a bush. Moses sees the fire but realizes that the flame is not consuming the bush in the way fire usually behaves. Moses recognizes that this is unusual and decides to turn aside to observe it. As he makes his way to the site, God spoke to him. The voice that had been silent for years now calls out to an unlikely candidate. What did God's voice sound like? Was it deep with a rich timbre? God calls this shepherd by name and explains that he cannot approach the site without the recognition that it is holy. Moses is commanded to remove his sandals to stand in this holy place. God identifies himself as the God of Moses' father, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When Moses understands who he is talking to, he hides his face and is afraid to look at God.
I Have Come To Deliver
God knows it when his people suffer. He is not aloof nor is he ignorant. This good and just God will not ignore when injustice happens. God declares to Moses that he has seen their affliction, heard their cries, knows their suffering and he has come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians and bring them to the land of promise. God would deliver his people, and Moses would be the one he sent to lead the people. Moses seems humble, and this time he is not eager to rescue others as he did for the Hebrew being beaten or the daughters of Jethro. God assures him that he would be with him. Moses would not do this alone, or in his power, God would work through him, and the sign that God gives him is that this would be the mountain where they would serve God. Moses pleads his ignorance and tells God that he doesn't even know how to tell the people of Israel who sent him. God tells Moses to tell the people that I Am sent him to them. The eternal, timeless, self-existing God had come to visit his people. God details the plan for deliverance. Moses was to gather the elders and communicate to them God's concern for their predicament and his promise to bring them to the land of promise. God guarantees that the elders will listen to Moses. They will then go to Pharaoh and request a three-day journey into the wilderness to worship and sacrifice because he had appeared to them. God explains to Moses that he knows the Pharaoh will not let them go unless compelled so when he denies the request God will strike Egypt with the wonders of his hand. God would compel Pharaoh, and he would grant the Israelites favor with the Egyptians to the degree that they would give gifts of silver, gold, and clothing to God's people as plunder.
Things To Consider:
- Where have you seen God in unexpected places?
- How does God speak to us today?
- How should we approach God? Why?
- How are you encouraged by the fact that God came to a sojourner that forfeited his right to stay in Egypt?
- How should we respond when we feel alone in suffering? Why?
- Why does God work through people?
- Why is it important to know that God is eternal?
- If God knew that Pharaoh would not listen, why did he have the elders go to him?
- Why is it important to remember that God is sovereign over the nations?
- What comforts you about this passage?