“Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his 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 flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And 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 at God.
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
When Moses saw the mistreatment of his people he was burdened to rescue them from their oppression. But as we saw in our readings earlier this week, his first reaction wasn’t actually constructive and he ended up on the run, a man without a country. A burden is important, it’s something that God puts into our heart to prompt us to work towards change. It’s the fuel that drives a mission. Without proper direction, however, that fuel can move us away from our goal or even off a cliff!
It probably seemed to Moses that he was on a permanent time out in regards to the plight of the Jewish slaves. He must have felt like damaged goods and completely ineligible to the cause. However, God hadn’t written Moses off. The burning bush was both a redeeming and commissioning moment for Moses. God let him know that He had heard the cries of the Israelites and He was going to do something about it. And Moses was just the man for the job. He would be God’s mouthpiece, an instrument for deliverance.
When we have a burden we must understand three things:
- Our burden is from God and will be the fuel for what he calls us to do.
- God loves more and before our burden. We don’t have to convince God to have mercy and justice towards that which we are burdened for. He’s already there. We’re the ones late to the party.
- God wants to use us to make a difference in the world, but we need to be willing to do it His way. When you walk with Him, wait on Him and rely on Him, He will show you the path to take.
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- Is there anything in your life that you think disqualifies you to be used by God? How might Moses’ story help you turn that narrative around?
- Do you have a burden to right a wrong? Take some time in prayer to seek God’s direction in the matter.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor