Summary: Moses' burning bush experience is a pattern for God's work in our lives. He catches our attention in a variety of ways and watches to see how interested we are. The deeper our interest, the deeper he takes us.
1. Exodus 3.1-10
2. "Earth's crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God. And only he who sees takes off his shoes, the rest sit round and pluck blackberries." -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
3. God uses a variety of ways to catch our attention and interest us in him
4. The Question is, Will we investigate further?
5. The account of Moses reveals that God can take the ordinary and make the extraordinary.
Possessions of the powerful or famous - no matter how common - can become extremely valuable. They can even be priceless.
* Napoleon's toothbrush sold for $21,000.
* Hitler's car sold for over $150,000
People have paid extraordinary amounts for
* Winton's Churchill's desk
* A pipe owned by C.S. Lewis
* Sheet music handwritten by Beethoven
At one of the large auction houses
* Jackie Kennedy Onassis's FAKE pearls sold for $211,500
* JFK's wood golf clubs went for $772,500.
These items didn't demand great prices because they themselves were worthy but because they once belonged to someone who was important.
I. With God an Ordinary Mountain Became Extraordinary
A. Mt. Horeb (Sinai) was in the backside of the Midian desert
1. Unassuming compared to many of the spectacular mountains
2. Torah (Instructions from God)
3. Elijah's flight from Jezebel
B. God's presence made it special
1. Holy Ground
2. Holy People
3. Holy Spaces -- Auditorium or Sanctuary?
4. Because of the Holy God
II. An Ordinary Bush Became Extraordinary
A. Presence of Fire, yet the Bush Remained Intact
1. Spontaneous Combustion was common
2. A bush not burning up was not
B. A Word Play
1. (Thorny/Blackberry?) Bush = "Seneh" -- Similar to "Sinai" (thorny)
2. Foretaste of something Greater --
a. Fire of God on the mountain giving the Torah of Moses
b. Preview of Fire of God at Pentecost and the proclamation of the New Covenant
C. Attention-Getter --
1. Will Moses want More? -- Exodus 3.3-4
2. Will WE? God gives us all we will take -- Luke 24.13-36
a. Hidden Presence
b. Bible study on Messiah
c. Revealed Presence -- twice
d. We have attention-getting experiences with God -- tragedies; blessings; "Aha" moments; Providential experiences -- do we focus or forget?
III. An Ordinary Man Became Extraordinary
[DL Moody: Moses spent 40 years thinking he was somebody; 40 years thinking he was nobody; and 40 years discovering what God can do with a nobody.
A. Moses had it all in Egypt -- Acts 7
1. Mighty in words and deeds -- 7.22 (keeping God's instructions)
2. Aware of his role -- 7.25
3. Jumped ahead of God's timing and lost his position in Egypt
4. Learned Humility in Midian
B. Moses Made some great Discoveries -- Exodus 3.4-5
1. Holy God
2. Holy Ground
3. Holy Agenda for Moses
C. The Bush Symbolic of God's work in the life of Moses -- On Fire, yet not consumed (Jeremiah 20.9)
1. New Songs
The song of the humpback whale is one of the strangest in nature. It is a weird combination of high and low-pitched groaning. Ocean scientists who have studied the humpback whale say their songs are extraordinary because these huge mammals of the deep are continually changing them. Over time the humpback will add new patterns of tones and bellows. Old ones are eliminated. As a result, these august, denizens of the deep are singing a whole new song.
God gave Moses a new song when the children of Israel were delivered from the Egyptians. God gives us a new song when we embrace Him. It is filled with new passion and new direction.
2. God knows our circumstances and can deliver us in his timing -- Exodus 3.6-9
a. We may not always be aware of God at work
b. Hebrews were in Egypt 300+ years in slavery
c. God goes to great lengths to deliver us and work in our lives -- 3.8
3. God works through people
a. It is one thing to watch God work
b. It is another to allow him to work through you
c. Purpose of HS in us -- not just for us -- So God can work through us
4. What is your burning bush? Will you focus or forget?