Sometimes the Lord speaks to us in the most boring, unnoticeable, ordinary places. He does not need the voice of a great orator and a stadium full of 10,000 people to talk to us. His still, small voice can drop a bombshell comment into our hearts while we’re brushing our teeth, driving to the Post Office, scrubbing a floor, or waiting in line at McDonald’s. He often speaks to us during our regular routine, and so it was with Moses…
During the monotonous daily grind of a shepherd’s life, God got Moses’ attention with a bush burning in the familiar terrain he’d trudged over day after day with his sheep. Moses knew every square inch of the land—the trees, the brush, the watering holes, and the best grazing areas. But when he noticed a bush burning with fire, and it was not consumed, he had to take a closer look. This was definitely not boring or ordinary!
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." (Exodus 3:1-3 NKJV).
As I drive out of my lane and down the hill, I am familiar with the trees, bushes, and fences along the way. I’m not surprised by the cemetery entrances or the little country church I often park by to pick up my grandchildren at the bus stop. When a tree fell across our lane one day, I was greatly startled and had to change my routine quickly. Nothing nearly as spectacular happened to me as to Moses, for the Lord began speaking to him from the burning bush!
So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." Moreover, He said, "I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God, (verses 4-6).
A lengthy conversation ensued between Moses and the Lord, as recorded in Exodus 3:7-15 and Exodus 4:1-17. As far as we know, there were no witnesses to the conversation except the sheep, but a life-changing charge was given from the Angel of the Lord, Himself, to Moses, whose mission was to return to Egypt and set the Israelites free. Moses was very apprehensive about the task and doubted his ability to complete it, but the Lord reassured him that He would be with him. He would even give Moses supernatural signs (Exodus 4:1-6) and help in knowing what to say to the people and Pharaoh. He also allowed Aaron to speak for Moses because he was afraid (Exodus 4:10-16).
I encourage you to read the entire conversation. It’s quite a long conversation with a plant, but if the Angel of the Lord had started talking to me from the fallen tree, I’d have been pretty captivated, too! Notice that when Moses turned his attention to the bush, the Lord began speaking to him. James 4:9 tells us, draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. We probably won’t realize how much the Lord wants to talk to us--have lengthy conversations with us—until we get to heaven. If Moses wouldn’t have turned aside to investigate the burning bush, the Lord would likely have gotten his attention in some other way.
The assignment from the Lord was weighty, but He showed Himself to Moses in such an unusual way in the burning bush that His supernatural presence was undeniable. What more reassurance could Moses possibly need? The same Power in the bush—the Angel of the Lord—promised to be with him. It’s as though the Lord was saying, Don’t look at yourself and your abilities, Moses; look at ME!
And that’s what bush-burning faith thrives on. In John 15:5, Jesus says, …apart from Me you can do nothing.
Copyright 2023, Chris Werre