Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. (Exodus 3:2)
Have you ever considered how strikingly unusual, unique, and even “odd” are the ways of God when He calls and commissions His people into His service? Today’s message is the first of a four-part series of articles, all of which are designed to offer you encouragement by looking at some of these unusual callings. In addition to offering encouragement, I hope to motivate you to do two things: First, to look back and prayerfully consider how God has worked in your life; and second, to look ahead to make sure you do not miss something special God might be doing in your life right now.
Today we will look at Moses and the burning bush. Moses spent the first forty years of his life in the palace of the Pharaoh of Egypt, a place of great power, prestige, and privilege. Yet Moses knew his heritage as a Hebrew, and when he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave, he defended his Hebrew brother and killed the Egyptian. However, far from being appreciative of what Moses had done, one of the Hebrews mockingly called him out for what he had done. Fearing for his life, Moses fled into the desert and spent the next forty years in obscurity.
Now, at the age of eighty, God had Moses right where He wanted him; while Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock in Midian, God appeared to Moses from within the flames of fire that engulfed a bush that did not burn up. The sight was so unusual that Moses was intrigued, and he drew near to take a look. And then the Lord called out to him:
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham and the God of Jacob.” (Exodus 3:4-6)
God went on to tell Moses that He has heard the cries of His people, who were in bitter distress in their bondage in Egypt, and that it is now time to deliver them. That, of course, is exactly what Moses had tried to do forty years earlier, but the problem back then was that Moses had tried to do it in his strength, not God’s.
Then God said something quite unexpected, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt” (Exodus 3:10). Stunned by this enormity of the task that lay ahead, Moses made up every excuse imaginable to keep from answering his call, but to no avail. God sent Moses with his brother Aaron down into Egypt to confront Pharaoh, and the rest, as they say, is His-story.
Looking back in your life, can you recall any “burning bushes” that God spoke to you from in order to call you into His service? Was there ever a time when you said, “Lord, I can’t do this!” and God replied, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26)? Remember, our “Odd God” is in the business of calling His people into His service in unexpected and unprecedented ways. Be on the lookout!This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN