The God Who Waits, Part 2

  • Wednesday, June 8, 2011

  • Moses’ initial encounter with the angel of the LORD is perhaps better remembered as the story of the "burning bush". But here in the wilderness, the LORD Himself comes to earth to personally engage and confront Moses with the work that HE sets out for this man to accomplish. Moses was in his forties and had already lived an usual life. From his rescue as an infant from the Nile River by Pharaoh’s daughter to being brought up in the best education Egypt had to offer, Moses seemed to have been prepared to accomplish great things. Yet, he began his adult life living in the wilderness having to flee from Pharaoh following Moses’ murdering of an Egyptian task-master. (Exodus 2:11-15)
    Moses married and was living the life of a shepherd while the people of Israel came under greater bondage and began to cry out for help to God. So is the context for the appearance of the angel of the LORD, the "theophany" of the burning bush.
    Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said,  “I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 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 come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:1-5)
    God sought out Moses and calls him by name, twice! The presence of the LORD made the very ground upon which Moses stood holy; God thus converses with Moses, telling him that God has selected Moses to free His people! During this appearance by God, our man Moses does not jump at the opportunity but rather gives God five excuses, and each time, God answers directly.  
    1. Moses: Who am I that I should go? … GOD: “I will be with you” – (Exodus 3:11)
    2. Moses: What will I say? … GOD: “I AM has sent you” – (Exodus 3:13)
    3. Moses: What if no one believes me? … GOD: “I will give convincing signs” (Exodus 4:1-9)
    4. Moses: I have no skill speaking skills… GOD: “I will teach you what to say” (no game!) (Exodus 4:10-12)
    5. Moses: Please send someone else! … GOD: “I give you Aaron” – (Exodus 4:13-17)
    Moses’ confrontation with the angel of the LORD began with questions, (“Who am I?”… “What will I say? … What if no one believes me?”) that turned to statements, (“I am not eloquent… Send someone else!”) which eventually angered God!
    But God prevailed, not by building up Moses’ self-esteem, but rather by providing HIMSELF. It was God who promised to be with Moses. It was God who promised to give Moses the words to say and the miracles to perform. It was God who gave Moses his own brother Aaron as help and support.
    Inadequacies do not call for a better self-image but a greater God-image.
    We cannot accomplish on our own strength or experience without the presence of God. It is not "us on our own" but rather, it is God!
    God used a "nobody" to accomplish great and awesome things! Moses is remembered throughout the New Testament as a man who was visited by God. This God who sees, hears, and provides, also was the God that delivered…
    Acts 7:35  “This Moses whom they disowned, saying,  ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush."
    And Moses gave God the glory in a way that will be remembered by all generations until the end of time itself…
    And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; for all the nations will come and worship before Thee, for Thy righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:3-4


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