Summary: The appearing of God to Moses points to the coming of Jesus in the flesh 1500 years later. The giving of God's Name continues the revelation of God's nature and character to redeem sinful mankind.
Exodus: “The History of the Redeemed: The Burning Bush”
Segue way from Genesis to Exodus
The second book of the Bible is Exodus which is a Latin word meaning “exit” or “departure”.It was not intended to be a “stand alone book”, because in the Hebrew, the book was originally named “we’elleh shemoth” which is translated, “these are the names of”, which is the same phrase occurring in Genesis 46:8 where it lists the names of those Israelites who traveled to Egypt with Jacob in search of food because Israel was experiencing a famine. Exodus reveals to us the History of the Redeemed People of God.
Genesis reveals Abraham’s son Isaac was the promised one whose son of promise was Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons, 11 of whom contrived a plot to sell their little brother Joseph into slavery to the Egyptians. Joseph became the a person of royalty in Egypt who initiated a plan to stockpile food and Jacob and his family traveled to Egypt out of desperation to survive, and the brothers meant harm to Joseph, but God intended for good in order to save the beginnings of the people of Israel from starvation. The names of those people are mentioned at the end of Genesis and are the same chosen people of God who will become slaves in Egypt as they grow into the chosen nation of the Almighty Eternal God.
In Egypt Moses is chosen to represent God’s people after Israel had spent 430 years in Egypt as slaves, all the while growing in number until they reached a total of between 2.5-3.5 million. God’s promise to Father Abraham was being just beginning to be fulfilled, for he would be the Father of ALL believers who would trust in the promise of God to redeem by faith in His promise.
There are at least two dozen threads of the Gospel in the book of Exodus and so I am going to spend a few weeks examining these wonderful historical testimonies of the works of our Great and Glorious God.
We begin our reading in Exodus 3:1-9: “Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." 4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." 5 Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground."
6 Moreover 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, for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
The Fire which would not be consumed
I want to challenge you to visualize this and don’t look at this event as a story but try and be there. Realize that Moses was an 80 year old man when this happens. God is calling him from being a shepherd… to tending” human sheep”, much like Jesus’ disciples 1500 years later. At an old age he was being called to the stressful task of being the under-shepherd of 2.5 million people! Remember that he had hiding for forty years as a stranger in the land of Midian, always looking over his shoulder, living in fear after he killed an Egyptian who was beating one of his people…but God found him and came to him in this miraculous and dramatic way.