Summary: God’s love for us empowers us to live joyfully no matter what troubles we face.
At the same time that the Hebrew slaves were crying out to God for deliverance in Egypt, God was commissioning a shepherd on the backside of a desert several hundred miles to the southeast to lead them to freedom.
The story of Moses is unique. He had been a prince but tried being a hero and wound up as a fugitive. Living in a foreign land as a shepherd God prepared him for leadership in the university of the wilderness.
We mustn’t ever believe that God doesn’t care about us just because He’s letting us face tough situations. God always has a plan for our lives.
The burning bush is an amazing biblical phenomenon. It burned for God yet didn’t burn out - a good example for us to follow. I remember veteran pastors in my youth saying, "I’d rather burn out for Jesus than rust out for the devil." The burning bush teaches us those aren’t the only options. We can burn for God without burning out!
When Moses turned aside to examine the bush more closely God called to him. How important it is to stop and listen when God is trying to get our attention! What wonderful opportunities in life have we missed because we did not pause to carefully consider what God has to say to us?
It certainly must have been an electrifying experience for Moses to hear the voice of God from the bush. After 3,000 years it’s still powerful to read about. And after 3,000 years it’s important to realize that God still desires to communicate with us on an individual basis!
The God who cares about us reveals several things about Himself in this story.
For one thing, the God who cares about us is a holy God.
Why did God tell Moses that coming into His presence meant he was on "holy ground", and what did this have to do with His deliverance of His people from their oppression?
The primary application of the word "holy" in Scripture is "set apart". God is "set apart" from us because of our sins. Now don’t let that cause you to run and hide from God because that’s not what He desires us to do. He has done great things to bring us back to Him in spite of our sin.
The Bible does not describe any other facet of God’s character this way. The Bible does not say God is "love, love, love", or "mercy, mercy, mercy".
Perhaps this is a reference to the Trinity. God the Father is holy. God the Son is holy. God the Spirit is Holy. There is no questioning the preminence and significance God’s holy essence.
Why would God make this the primary way he revealed Himself to Moses as in many other scriptures? It is because God cannot lead His people from bondage to blessings until He first deals with the sins that bind them. His holiness demands it. Sin, more than anything else, is what binds us.
It was indeed sinful for the Egyptians to enslave their fellow men. But it is not often the sins of others than enslave us and blockade the blessings of God on our lives.
"Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face fom you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Before you think God’s holiness keeps us from God remember what else this story teaches us.
The God who cares about us is not only a holy God, He is also a compassionate God.
Look at the verbage in our text scripture that describes God’s concern for people in trouble. He SAW, He HEARD, He KNEW, and He CAME DOWN.
"I have surely seen the affliction of my people."
I have "heard their cry."
"I know their sorrows."
"I have come down to deliver them."
God is looking, listening, and responding to our needs! He is personally involved. But, you may ask, why did He send Moses?
Because the God who cares about us commissions people to participate in His purpose!
"I am sending you to Pharoah Moses - to bring my people out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:10)
Moses may have believed that because of his past failures (a topic we’ll deal with in the next sermon in this series) or because of his shortcomings, that he wasn’t qualified to go. "Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah?" (Verse 11)
It wasn’t who Moses was - it was who God was that mattered!