Lent 2022 Day 12
Tue 15 Mar
Exodus 3:3-10 Moses and the burning bush
3 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.
God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’
5 ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ 6 Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
7 The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’
It seemed to be some time before God decided to act.
Reading the end of Exodus 2 you might think that God had put his covenant with Abraham in a drawer and forgotten where he put it. When should God act? Immediately, or after some time? If he acts immediately then his people would be untouchable – might they get proud? If he delays, then for how long? The strange dichotomy is that God’s power is better celebrated and remembered when he acts in miraculous ways, and that would be when situations have deteriorated beyond human control.
Does God look on suffering with dispassionate eyes? Does he not reserve his glory?
The Israelites had suffered in Egypt, where once Jacob’s son Joseph was second-in-command in the land. How is God going to honour his covenant with Abraham? When he appears to fugitive murderer Moses, he announces himself with an extra name – did you notice that he is now the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Every name is a testament to God’s plan.
God has a plan. An amazing plan, one that will form the heart of the identity of God’s people Israel. Time and time again God reminds his people that he brought them out of slavery in Egypt and into their own land. God is building a nation.
Moses is a wanted man in Egypt, which makes one wonder why God used him. Who am I, asked Moses, that you should call me? That’s not a question for God. The more useless the sent, the more evidence there is that it’s the sender who is great. Moses may have been brought up in courtly style but he was a duffer. Read chapter 4 and find out how there are no excuses that God will accept when he calls.
What’s your excuse?
Father God, in your presence I stand on holy ground. Wherever and whenever I come to you, in prayer, at home, at work, in town, daytime or night-time, the place where I am becomes a holy place, because you are holy, and your holiness suffuses everything. It is only your presence that makes a place holy. Without you no place remains holy. Your gift of Jesus, alive in me, is all the holiness I need. Amen.
No longer a slave: