The burning bush experience was a pivotal turning point in Moses’ life. He went from a wilderness shepherd to the leader of Israel. He went from knowing little to nothing about God to having a personal encounter with the Creator of the world. It was definitely a life-changing experience!
So far, we’ve spent the last couple weeks looking at how holy ground is where we stand in the presence of God and where we receive our calling. Today, we’re going to look at our final point and take-away from this amazing event: holy ground is where intimate relationship with God starts. How did I get this point? Let’s jump back into Exodus 3 and I’ll show you.
“Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’”
I AM is the personal name of God. It reveals His nature and character and communicates intimacy. There is so much depth to this name that scholars are still trying to unravel the various layers of meaning. However, one interesting thing to note is that this is the first time God reveals His special name. He didn’t tell it to Abraham even though he was considered the friend of God. No, God revealed it only to Moses.
This indicates God’s desire for intimate relationship. And intimacy begins with heart-to-heart conversations. So first, God shows Moses His heart, and now He reveals His special, divine name. Wow! What must that have been like for Moses? Was it an awe moment? Did he finally look up from the ground and gaze into the burning bush in wonder?
Obviously, the entire encounter was life-changing, but I wonder if this moment was the pinnacle. The adopted prince not only stands in the presence of the living God, but also receives a specific calling and starts a personal relationship with the King of the universe. No wonder this event changed Moses’ life forever!
What God started at that burning bush in the middle of nowhere, would change the course of history forever. It would become the stuff legends were made of, and would set into motion a course of events that would be remembered by the world forever. However, despite all the wonders done in Egypt and all the miracles accomplished in the wilderness afterwards, the amazing thing to me is the relationship God started with Moses.
Moses, a sinful man whose transgressions were not covered by the New Testament yet, walked with God. He beheld God’s glory and had personal, one-on-one conversations with the Creator of the world. He was used by God to do mighty miracles and pen the first five books of the Bible.
Maybe you’re wondering what’s the big deal? Hasn’t God always wanted a personal relationship with man? That’s because we view this event from the New Testament perspective where Jesus has already walked on earth and made a way for us to be reconciled to the Father. However, back in Old Testament times the Lamb had not been sacrificed yet; sin had not yet been permanently atoned for. Therefore, this type of relationship with God was extremely rare. In fact, it hadn’t happened for over 400 years—since the time of the patriarchs. But even then, we already mentioned that God had never revealed His personal name before. So this was big!
But it all started here, at the burning bush. So as we continue to follow the life of Moses and walk in his footsteps, let us remember that all the great things and amazing experiences he had started here: the place where God grabbed his attention, gave him his calling, and started a relationship. Therefore, as we seek after God and desire that intimate, personal fellowship with our Creator, let us remember that holy ground is where it all starts.
Your turn: was there a defining moment in your life that you can say your relationship with God started?
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