The Bush that Didn’t Burn

Exodus 3:1-4:17.  The unexpected.  Stories of people bargaining with God are not uncommon.  If God will save my child in this illness, the person will promise all sorts of things.  Desperate people in hopeless situations needing help from God frequent healing services.  People flocked to Jesus, but what about Moses.  Moses was caring for his sheep, not particularly in need.  He is older, a herdsman out in the desert and a refugee from Egypt where he killed a man.  He is not a likely person to choose for a task nor does he have many bargaining chips.  God seems to pick people the world passes by to do important tasks.

         Moses notices a bush that appears to be burning but is not consumed and goes to investigate.  God notices that Moses notices.  God approaches Moses.  The pursuing exchange between creator and human is interesting.  God identifies himself as the God of Moses’ ancestors but also importantly the God who sees the suffering of his people with a plan to deliver them. In fact, the God who does not wait afar for his creation to deserve him but the God who is willing to come near and get his hands dirty.  But Moses identifies himself as a person with a past.  Two very different characters in this story.

         God counters that he will accompany Moses to do the proposed plan to deliver God’s people from oppression.  Moses points out he has no credibility anymore and essentially asks, “Who are you?”  God reveals his name as “I AM.”  This name will become the name by which God is identified in this epic story.  God gives Moses signs to prove himself but Moses still waffles in doubt because Moses is still looking at his own ability and not looking at the God who is speaking.  This God can speak! Can be in a bush that looks like it is burning but isn’t! and knows the state affairs of the world and its injustices!  This is a God with a plan to bring justice and freedom to the oppressed and downtrodden, those laboring under our epic villain.  Moses can only see his own limitations.

         How many times are we so focused on our “can’ts” that we do not even see the irony of whining to the God of “cans.”  Our past, our limitations, our ignorance convince us we are nobodies and we become grasshoppers in our own eyes.  Perhaps there is a challenge you have been avoiding because it felt overwhelming.  Sometimes writing on one side of a paper the reasons it would be hard and then writing on the other side the qualities of God that might help you, helps. God meets us in our doubts and questions and reveals his true identity.  It is when our fear becomes denial of God’s power and a smoke screen for rebellion that I suspect we try God’s patience.  Blessings as you tackle the challenges God places before you.  Remember the promise that he goes with you.

Remember to pray for those who are on the battle front facing injustice.  Blessings.

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