Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:1-14, Psalm 46:1-7, Luke 12:11-12, 1 Peter 5:6-11
There are more than a few mysterious and amazing natural phenomena found in our world: volcanic lightning, sailing stones, and the northern lights pop into my mind. We rarely find ourselves encountering anything of the sort, yet a man in today’s passage came across something pretty wild: a bush that was on fire but not burning up.
At first, Moses was curious. What he saw was weird, but not scary. After a voice from the bush called him out by name came a simple response of acknowledgement, not alarm. Continuing with instructions to approach, Moses walked on, unbothered. It was only when the voice explained that He was God when Moses became afraid.
Moses knew who God was, and at the mention of the names of the patriarchs, realized what was going on. Immediately, he hid his face, afraid to look at God. Scripture doesn’t share his thoughts, but we can imagine some things running through his head: the spiritual history of his family, the sins of his past, the panic induced by what God asked him to do. Moses even questions who he is, to be able to approach the most powerful man in the most powerful nation, a task he knew to be impossible. Doubtless Moses was frightened at the massive task ahead of him. Yet God allayed that fear: “I will certainly be with you” (Exodus 3:12).
As believers, nothing we do is done alone. This is who God is: the One who sends us. Psalm 46 is a perfect complement to this story. To know that “God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble” should be a comfort (Psalm 46:1). We don’t need to be afraid, “though the earth trembles.” In our life, figurative mountains could be tumbling into the sea, the waters foaming, the ground quaking under us…yet. God is so close. When nations rage and kingdoms topple, the “earth melts when He lifts his voice” (v.6).
When reading this passage, I like to think of an older Moses, one who trusted God differently since that first encounter with the burning bush. Compare that younger Moses to the one on the mountain, begging to see God’s face, yet being moved into the cleft of a rock to protect him from the full glory of God (Exodus 33). In between those two events, Moses saw what happens when God calls out: an entire nation toppled before Him, and another one saved.
Can you say that God’s voice is power in your life? Do you understand that when God sends you, He’s going, too?
Written by Canaan Chapman