Summary: Moses - The Burning Bush - What ingredients did God stir into the life of Moses? And will this recipe work in our lives as well? A Divine Appointment, the Divine Announcement, the Divine Assignment. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint
The Making of a Mighty Man
Exodus 3 & 4:1-5, 29-31
What ingredients did God stir into the life of Moses to make him the mighty man he became? And will this recipe work in our lives as well?
It started out as a very normal day. Like most of the days in his 40 years in the backside of the desert, it was likely uneventful and with no real expectations of much happening. The sun rose, the sheep grazed, the tumbleweeds rolled. But it is an extraordinary day, and this harsh barren landscape as it turns out is about to become a divine location on the face of the map.
Moses is about to have a confrontation with God Almighty. Before this day is over God is going to reveal to Moses His plan and purpose for his life, and it’s a grand plan and an awesome purpose. Any ordinary day becomes extra ordinary when God steps on the scene. Any ordinary person can become extraordinary when the Lord Jehovah is in the picture. And any ordinary church can become extraordinary when God becomes its most prominent member!
1. The Divine Appointment
v. 2 The Miracle of the burning bush is a picture of 3 things:
• The Nation of Israel—the Jewish people are going to go thru some fiery trials. They will pass thru the furnace of affliction many times yet future to this incident, but they will not be consumed and will escape unscathed.
Pharaoh tried and failed, so did Nebuchadnezzar and Hitler and Saddam, and now others are threatening, but the burning bush will not ever be consumed! God put a blessing on any who are good to Israel and a curse on those who treat them badly. This curse knows no boundaries, whether Iran to the East, Egypt to the south, Lebanon to the north, or Jimmy Carter down in Georgia!
• God Himself—It reveals the power and the glory and the holiness of Almighty God. Deut. 33:16 says that God Himself dwelt in this bush. Exodus 3:2 says ‘the angel of the Lord’, I believe this refers to a Christophany: an OT appearance of Jesus.
The fire is a picture of the purity and purifying nature of God. Heb. 12:29 says “our God is a consuming fire.” Jesus’ eyes in Revelation were like a flame of fire! Yes, He’s a God of love who doesn’t want to send anyone to hell fire, but He’s a Holy God Who cannot allow sin into heaven, and He’s so holy that any sin from His creation must be judged! With the passion of fire He loves sinners, and with the same passion He hates sin!
• Moses himself—He was a humble shepherd, but with God’s help He’s about to be set ablaze...on fire for God...never to be quenched! V. 6 says Moses bowed before God. V. 5 points out that he took off his shoes...an act of humility. That’s a guy God can use! The same thing happened to Isaiah, when he got a look at Who God truly is he realized in humility how small and weak he was, and how much he needed God.
There was no real greatness in Moses. But when the common is touched by the Divine, then the common becomes uncommon. God is most pleased to use average, ordinary people. You don’t have to be the smartest or the most talented...those qualities often serve to prevent one from looking to God. He gets much more glory when a new believer or an average Joe believes and allows Him to fill them and use them than when I take my seminary degrees and talents and experience and put them on display!
Now hear this: If you pledge to live a dedicated Christian life, to be faithful, to become a disciple of Jesus, to read your Bible and pray and forsake sin—there will be a lot of ordinary days...but there will also be numerous times when the bush will burn with fire! And it’s a great feeling.
In v. 4 Moses said, ‘here am I’. He’s not the only one who said that. Isaiah did too...but he said, ‘here am I Lord, send me’...Moses said, ‘here am I...who, me?’ ‘Can’t you send someone else?’ He took his shoes off, a sign of respect. If I come to your house I want you to know that it’s because I respect you that I will leave mine on! But Moses was standing on holy ground...and so are we right now. The Bible says that where 2 or more are gathered together in His Name, He’s there in the midst!
The Divine Appointment...
2. The Divine Announcement
v. 6 Jesus used this very statement in the NT to prove the resurrection. In Mt. 22:32, thousands of years after the burning bush these patriarchs are still alive, and God is the God not of the dead, but of the living!