Moses, the former prince of Egypt, became a shepherd, taking care of his father-in-law’s flocks. He married, started a family, and pretty much settled down and made his home in the land of Midian. He probably expected to spend the rest of his days taking care of sheep. But God had other plans.
This was just a season in Moses’ life, a long character-building season. Forty years is a long time. Moses probably thought nothing would change. However, God’s timing is always perfect. So finally, after forty years, God was ready to call Moses out and lead him into his divinely appointed destiny. Here’s how it all started…
“Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, 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 on which you are standing is holy ground.’ And he said, ‘I am the God of your father,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face,
or he was afraid to look at God.”
What an experience! I’m sure Moses never imagined this would happen when he got out of bed that morning. It was just an ordinary day until God stepped in and made it extraordinary. It’s not every day that you see a burning bush that is not burning or walk into the literal, physical presence of God.
This was an event and experience that would change Moses’ life forever. No longer would he be an exiled prince tending sheep. Rather, during this encounter with God, Moses became the deliverer of Egypt and the mouthpiece of the LORD. Because this was such a crucial turning point in Moses’ life, we’re going to spend a couple of weeks looking closely at his encounter with the God of creation. And today, we’re going to focus on the passage above and pull out four lessons from these six verses.
1. Moses was faithful. He wasn’t lazing around bemoaning the fact that he no longer lived in Egypt. He was working. He was keeping sheep. It’s no easy or glamorous job. His travels took him all over the wilderness. But he did it, and did it faithfully for forty years. Sometimes, we go through seasons when our lives are filled with mundane, every-day tasks that seem to last for years. We aren’t doing anything exciting or earth shattering. But in that place, God wants us to be faithful, just like Moses.
2. God used Moses’ natural curiosity. God didn’t just call Moses’ name out of the blue. He drew Moses away and grabbed his attention through a supernatural event, the burning bush. Obviously, Moses had an inquisitive nature, and God used that. What ways can we see God speaking to us through our unique personalities? God used Moses’ natural curiosity to draw him aside. What is God using in our lives to call us to Himself?
3. When God called, Moses answered. He didn’t hide in fear or silently wonder who was speaking. No, Moses immediately answered the call of God. When he heard his name, Moses’ answered, “Here I am.” This phrase must be music to God’s ears! Communication takes two parties willing to participate. God can’t do all the talking, because that wouldn’t be the true, meaningful communication that is the basis of relationship. We must respond. Moses demonstrates this for us beautifully as he replies, “Here I am.” Is God calling your name? What is your response?
4. What God said, Moses believed. This final point is probably the most important. When God revealed who He was, Moses didn’t scoff, doubt, or ponder the matter; he immediately believed. Exodus tells us that after God declared who was speaking “…Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” That shows absolute belief on Moses’ part. He recognized God for who He was, and was immediately afraid.
While in later years, Moses would experience an intimate and personal relationship with the LORD, this initial fear of God was a healthy beginning. Often, we lose sight of that healthy respect of God. I wonder if we had a burning bush experience, if our initial response would be to hide our face in fear. Our world and church could use a healthy dose of respect for the God we serve.
Nevertheless, the main point here is: what God said, Moses believed. May we follow in Moses’ footsteps and immediately believe the words of God.
This is just the beginning of Moses’ burning bush experience. We’ll dive back in and continue watching and learning from this life-changing moment next week. In the meantime, it’s your turn. Have you ever had a burning bush type of experience? Did God use something big to grab your attention and call your name?
View the About page for more info on the author.
Receive Posts via Email