Burning Bush


"One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. ‘This is amazing,’ Moses said to himself. ‘Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.’
When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ ‘Here I am!’ Moses replied.
‘Do not come any closer,’ the Lord warned. ‘Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Then the Lord told him, ‘I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.’
But Moses protested to God, ‘Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?’
God answered, ‘I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.’
But Moses protested, ‘If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,” they will ask me, “What is his name?” Then what should I tell them?’
God replied to Moses, ‘I am who I am. 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: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations.’"

I find the story of Moses and the burning bush simply fascinating. God caused a fire in the bush, yet did not allow the bush to burn. It seems that something like this would certainly get your attention! But there is a detail in this story that I never noticed before~Moses decided to go over to look at the bush before God called out to him. Previously, my attention latched on to the part where God called to Moses and I always assumed God’s call came prior to Moses’ approach. In fact, for some reason I mistakenly assumed God’s call is what initially grabbed Moses’ attention. Yet with that assumption I missed a very big point. Moses acted before God called.

This makes me wonder, what would have happened if Moses saw the burning bush, but kept on walking? Moses was in the middle of his regular work-day, tending the sheep. He could have easily said to himself, “Hmmm...that’s interesting, but I need to focus on the sheep.” Or he could have thought, “Yikes! That bush isn’t burning up! Something scary is happening, I’m out of here!” I’m grateful Moses took the time to investigate God’s sign to him. In doing so, he heard God’s voice. And when he heard God’s voice he obeyed, forever changing the course of history.

How many times have we missed God’s voice because we didn’t stop and look when he sent us a sign? How many times have we seen something that caught our eye, but then decided we needed to focus on our work, our family, or whatever else had our attention at the time? God wants to talk to us, but sometimes it is so very hard to get our attention. We see his signs, but fail to recognize that they are from God. We don’t stop to take a closer look and give God the opportunity to speak to us and invite us into his work. How many burning bush moments do we miss?

Breathe in God's grace and love...exhale all of your struggles.

Are you too busy to see the signs God places in your life? Join me in slowing down and taking the time to recognize God’s signs and allowing him the chance to speak to us.

Heavenly Father, your word today causes me to wonder just how many times you attempt to get my attention and I keep walking. How many times do you knock on the door, but I’m so busy I don’t hear you? Like Moses, I want to recognize you and draw closer so I can hear your voice. You seldom yell loudly to me, but you often whisper quietly. You are the still small voice that speaks when I slow down and quiet myself and listen. When I take the time to study your word, you use stories like the burning bush to remind me to slow down and pay attention to the many ways you are present in my life~the many ways you attempt to speak to me. Help me recognize your signs and listen for your voice. Give me courage to approach your burning bush whenever I see it. Amen!
Jul 29 2018