Summary: God taught Moses that He demands reverence, promises His presence and reveals His essence to those who seek Him and obey Him.
J. B. Phillips in his book Your God Is Too Small tells of how
he asked a group of young people to give a snap answer to the
question, "Do you think God understands radar?" They all
said no, and then they roared with laughter as they
considered how foolish their answer was. It showed that in
the back of their minds they thought of God as an old man
who lived in the past and was rather bewildered by modern
progress. Nothing is more pathetic than a mature person
with an immature concept of God. Such an adult is seldom a
dedicated Christian, or an active servant of God. More than
likely they reject God completely. They mature in all other
areas of life, but in their concept of God they remain childish.
To make things worse, they think the rest of us are
worshipping the God of their immature conception. They
think we are quite simple and unacquainted with the hard
facts of life.
These people have not rejected God, for they don't even
know Him. They have only rejected a god who doesn't exist
anyway except in their own mind. What these people need is
a true biblical concept of God. This is what we all need, for
our conception of God controls our attitudes and actions, and
it determines the measure of our devotion to Him and His
will. Is your God just a spare time God you call upon only in
emergencies? You answer that by your commitment to Him.
The person who gives his God only one hour a week of his life
has a very small God and not the God of our Lord and Savior
One cannot stand in the pulpit and hand over to you an
experience of the greatness of God any more than one can
measure the horizon with a ruler. This can only come when a
person says with Moses, "I will turn aside and see this great
sight." A man has to be willing to forsake his old concepts if
he would grow in the knowledge of God as He really is. When
Martin Niemoller was in Hitler's prison he had time to think,
and he turned his thought toward God. He had to give up his
old opinions about God. He wrote, "It took me a long time to
learn that God is not the enemy of my enemies. He is not
even the enemy of His enemies." He had to give up the God
He had created in his own image, and he came to see that God
Moses needed to grow in his knowledge of God as well.
God had prepared him to lead the children of Israel out of
Egypt. The first 40 years of his life he gained the best
education possible in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, but this
knowledge was not enough for the task God had for him. He
needed some good practical experience, and so God in His
providence saw that he got it, and for the next 40 years he was
a shepherd in Midian where he learned the ways of desert life.
He learned about the plants and animals, and about water
sources and hardships. Now the second 40 year training
period was over, and all Moses needed now was to meet God,
and this he did at the burning bush, which is the Damascus
Road experience of the Old Testament. We want to look at
this experience and draw from it 3 things which God does
that enlarge our concept of Him.
I. HE DEMANDS REVERENCE. v. 4-5
You will notice that God appealed to the curiosity of
Moses. Some people feel that faith and curiosity are
contradictory, but this is not so. The impulse to inquire and
learn is essential to a growing faith. God says, "Come now let
us reason together," and all of nature is a stimulus to
investigation. Curiosity is what made Watts ask why the lid
on a boiling kettle bobbed up and down? His search for an
answer led to the first workable steam engine. Curiosity is
what made Sir Alexander Fleming investigate a mold, which
led to the discovery of penicillin. Curiosity is what led
Zaccheaus climb a tree to see Jesus, which led to his
conversion. It may have killed the cat but curiosity saved him
and many others.
God wants people to investigate, but we see that when
Moses came near He stopped him and tells him to take off his
shoes. This was a sign of reverence and God demands that.
If one is going gain from his search he must come in reverence
and humility, for neither God nor His creation will reveal its
secrets to the proud and irreverent. "Moses was led through