Summary: The encounter that Moses had with God at the bush displays some key lessons to us. It shows the character of God; the place of his people; and the times inw hich we live.
1. George W. Bush and Moses
Maybe you have heard the story of the day that President George W. Bush was in an airport and noticed a man in a long flowing red robe with a long flowing white hair and beard.
The man had a staff in one hand and some stone tablets under the other arm.
George W. approached the man and asked, “Aren't you Moses?”
The man ignored George W. and stared at the ceiling.
George W. positioned himself more directly in the man's view and asked again, “Aren't you Moses?”
The man continued to stare at the ceiling.
George W. then tugged at the man's sleeve and asked once again, “Aren't you Moses?”
The man finally responded in an irritated tone, “YES, I AM!”
George W. asked him why he was so irritated and why he had taken so long to answer him.
Moses replied, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but the last time I spoke to a Bush I ended up stuck in a desert for forty years!”
2. Exodus 3.1-6
3. Moses Encountered God in an unusual place and in an unusual Way
a. Backside of the desert
b. Burning Bush
c. Holy Ground – Presence of God; No dirty shoes
1) Separate from the common/ordinary – Isaiah 6.1-3
In the year that King Uzzi′ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
2) Set apart – for a purpose
3) People of God – Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Leviticus 19.2
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter (Kefa) 1.14-16
4) Different from Isolation (as Moses had been for 40 years)
4. Consider Moshe’s encounter with the Holy God at a special place:
I. Fire Is a Powerful Symbol of God
I read about a man whose bathtub was filthy. Apparently he was having little luck getting it clean with normal bathroom cleansers, but he had heard that gasoline was a solvent. So he took a rag with gasoline to the tub… and it worked!
Well… it worked, but it stank up the bathroom.
So, he decided he needed to do something to take care of the odor.
You’ll never guess what he did… he set out aromatic candles and he lit them.
He survived… but his apartment didn’t.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Fire is powerful and contains images of God for us:
A. The Attractive Nature of God [Fireplace; Campfire
1. Moshe noticed the burning bush and was curious
2. Was this some sort of Test for Moshe?
3. He observes an appearance of God as:
• Adam and Eve had seen
• As Abraham (human/angelic form?)
• Elijah – still small voice
• Rab Shaul – special appearance on Road to Damascus – interruption of his plans; redirection of his steps
• Nature’s revelation: 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1.20
B. Illuminating – God represented in the Menorah
1. God is Light – This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1.5
2. God Enlightens his people – Moshe is able to “see” the light of God and follow
3. Light of God reminds us of his salvation
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her vindication goes forth as brightness,
and her salvation as a burning torch. Isaiah 62.1
6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1.6-7
1. Need warmth in the winter
2. Need to cook
3. Pagans believed gods gave fire as a gift and that to have fire in your home you had to take fire from the common place of fire within the community – after – you had made an offering to the gods