Exodus 3

Exodus 3 contains the story of the burning bush.  Remember what happens?  Moses is minding his own business tending his flock and an “angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”.  That wasn’t exactly what he expected when he got up that morning – a bush that didn’t burn – “the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed”.  Moses is curious and decides to try and figure out what is going on and then surprise number two comes – it starts talking to him.  Can you imagine the surprise?  “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am”.  I’m not sure I would have responded that way – after all – talking bushes that are on fire don’t happen every day out tending the sheep.

But God gives His resume, and it is pretty impressive: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”.  There is some history here.  And Moses understands that this is no normal connection.  “Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God”.  He is in the presence of the almighty God.  God tells Moses He has been paying attention:

  • “seen the affliction
  • heard their cry
  • know their sufferings
  • come down to deliver them
  • bring them up”

God knows the situation – He has seen and heard and is taking action.  But His plan is to do it through Moses.  “Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt”.   Can you imagine the surprise here?  Moses is a sheep herder who has been running from Pharaoh.  Sure that king is dead and a new leader is on the throne but surely he has heard of Moses.  So we begin a bit of positioning:

–      “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh

–      And God replies “But I will be with you

–      Moses asks who do I say that you are

–      And God responds with “I am who I am….Say this….I am has sent me

So Moses is trying to understand how he is going to pull this off.  God gives him some direct instruction: “Go and gather the elders of Israel together….they will listen to your voice”.  Moses has to be wondering how this is going to work out.  First he has to get the leaders to listen to him.  Then God drops this bombshell on him: “I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go….so I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it”.  So Moses – know that this plan isn’t going to work at first.  The king won’t let you go.  But just go tell the elders what you are to do.  Can you imagine what Moses is thinking now?  But God assures him with this outcome: “you shall plunder the Egyptians”.  It isn’t going to be quick or easy – but God has a plan.  All He is asking is for obedience.  He will take care of the results.  That is the key.  What God originates, God orchestrates.  That will never be more true than the story of Moses and Pharaoh!

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on August 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Some bible translations render God’s response to Moses about who sent him as “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be”… How does this rendering reveal that Jehovah is a God of multiple roles, and that he is able to become whatever he deems necessary to accomplish his purpose?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Brad Kowerchuk on August 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Some bible translations use the name “Jehovah” in rendering Exodus 3:15. How does the use of God’s personal name, Jehovah, make the statement “this is my name forever” much more meaningful and powerful to us?

    Reply

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