That Burning Bush

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” Exodus 3:1-3

Isn’t it strange how most who have read this story would have a hard time recalling what Moses was doing when he saw the burning bush. He was a mere shepherd tending his father-in-law’s flocks.

Moses looked at the burning bush probably exactly how we would look at it: puzzled. It may have taken him a bit to realize the bush wasn’t burning out.

The burning bush would be a turning point in Moses’ life, even though he would give a variety of excuses of his insufficiencies and insecurities.

Still, God would use him to do great things. He would later be able to go back to this moment when God revealed himself to him. In all his upcoming doubts, he still had this moment. No one else would ever be able to understand the story when he would tell it but Moses would always have it to remember.

Throughout our lives God gives us these moments we can fall back on and remember when we have doubts and insecurities. God still makes these moments happen for our good.

Praise the Lord!

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He Remembers

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. Exodus 2:23-25

Over and over throughout Scripture, the Bible authors reminded us of God’s faithfulness to Israel. That’s okay. As we read, we tend to forget what we just read. Those who lived it forgot even more.

We need to be reminded of and encouraged by sound truth and doctrine often.

Taking it a step further, God hears us when we call out to Him. He is concerned about us as well.

He knows our plight.

He knows our struggles.

He knows our sorrows and pain.

He knows when we are discouraged.

He remembers us when others don’t.

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Only Passing Through

16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.

18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” Exodus 2:16-22

Moses’ name means “to draw out” so when he drew water for the sisters, it was no small irony or play on words.

Moses got a pretty good deal. He watered a flock and gained a wife for the trouble!

Notice, though, they they named their firstborn Gershom, meaning “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” Getting back to Canaan was always on their minds, even though it wasn’t apparent what that would involve or how they would get there. It was a longing they had.

How’s your longing for the Promised Land, Heaven? Do you think about it? If so, what comes to mind? Do you stare up in the skies and wonder about it? Do you wonder what your loved ones are doing up there?

This world is not our home; we really are only passing through.

Take that to heart today as you consider the subject of heaven and eternal life.

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Truth and Consequences

13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Exodus 2:13-15

Moses’ sin had caught up with him, and rather quickly. This is the second time that a Pharaoh tried to kill Moses. Because 40 years had passed since the Pharaoh had tried to put to death all the baby boys in Egypt, this Pharaoh was probably the son of the first Pharaoh. It certainly doesn’t make it more logical to want him dead because Moses probably grew up in the palace with the current reigning Pharaoh.

On the other hand, there really could have been jealousy that motivated Pharaoh to order him to death.

A third reason is that Pharaoh also knew that Moses wasn’t Egyptian so that was another strike again him.

All in all, Moses was in big trouble. He sinned. He ran. And now he really didn’t have a home.

Of course we know that God provided for Moses, but he still had to go through the pain of knowing that he’d taken another man’s life and was being hunted down.

Yes, God can and does rescue us from an eternal damnation when we believe, but there are still consequences to our sins both before and after our conversion.

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Another Flawed Individual

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Exodus 2:11-12

It’s easy to read past these verses and on to the story about Moses fleeing because someone spotted him, but Moses just murdered someone and tried to cover it up. Moses, the man who would eventually lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, committed murder. He knew it was wrong because he looked to make sure no one was watching.

As tragic s the murderous death of a human being is, we get a first glimpse into Moses as a young man. Conniving. Angry. Violent. Guilty.

But it was more than that.

God used Moses in a great way. God rescued him from the Nile when he was a newborn. In the coming verses we’ll get to see another side of Moses.

As we’ve seen many places in the Bible, God uses seriously flawed people to advance the kingdom. It was true i Moses’ day; it’s certainly true today.

And it will be true tomorrow.

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