The Burning Bush
February 10 - Nº 41 Exodus 3:1 – 4:17
For forty years Moses tended sheep. Sometimes his search for pastureland took him to the far side of the Midian wilderness near Mount Horeb (later called Mount Sinai). One day while he was there, something unusual caught his eye. A bush was on fire, but it wasn’t burning up! He walked closer to see what was going on. A voice called to him from the bush, “Moses! Moses!” Startled, he replied, “Here I am.” The voice instructed him to stop and take off his sandals because the ground he was standing on was holy! Moses obeyed. Then the owner of the voice introduced Himself, “I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face. He was frightened. He was a fugitive who had murdered another man. He knew that he was a sinful person. There was no way he could survive in the presence of a holy God! But God didn’t zap Moses. Instead, He revealed an amazing plan. God wanted Moses to return to Egypt and confront the new Pharaoh and demand that the Egyptian ruler set the Israelite nation free. Then Moses would lead them out of Egypt and back to the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But Moses wasn’t very excited about the plan. “Who am I?” he asked. “How could I possibly accomplish such a task?” God let Moses know that the outcome had nothing to do with who he was as a man. Instead, it had everything to do with who God is! God was just asking Moses to be His representative. If the Israelites wanted to know who had sent Moses, he was to say, “I AM has sent me to you.” God’s very name—Yahweh (‘I AM’)—indicated that He had always been, that He was right now, and that He always would be the only explanation that Moses, or anyone else, could possibly need. Moses didn’t seem to get it. He still felt unprepared for the role God was assigning him. So, God demonstrated that Moses did not have to rely on his own ability. It was God’s power that would accomplish the task. He told Moses to throw his shepherd’s staff on the ground. When he did, God turned it into a poisonous snake. Moses jumped back in fear. Then he gingerly picked it up by the tail, and, once again, it was his staff. Then God told him to put his hand inside his shirt. When Moses pulled it out, it was covered with leprosy—a terrible skin disease. Then God told him to place it back inside his shirt, and it was healed. But Moses had another concern. He didn’t think he could speak eloquently enough to be God’s ambassador. God promised to give him the words he needed. Moses finally admitted that he just didn’t want to do what God was asking him to do. At that point God grew angry. He informed Moses that He would send Aaron, his brother, to accompany him and be his spokesperson. Moses would tell Aaron what God wanted him to say, and then Aaron would speak for Moses. But ultimately Moses would be the one responsible to God.
Has God ever showed up in your life in an unusual way? Has He ever asked you to do something you are not capable of doing? The truth is, God never asks us to do things we can accomplish on our own. He has much bigger things in mind—things that only He can accomplish! But He allows us to join Him in the process.