Hi. Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host of the daily challenges. Today is Tuesday, the day we study the Bible together. This week we’re going to study Moses and the Burning Bush.
Moses was born into a dark world. He was one of Jacob/Israel’s descendants In Egypt, through whom God had promised he’d bless the entire world…but Joseph and the good old days of Israel living in Egypt like honoured guests were long gone. A new Pharoah was trying to keep the Israelites from becoming too numerous or too powerful, and gave instructions to kill all male children.
Instead of dying, Moses was hidden, abandoned, and then raised by a princess. But one day as a young man he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, and intervened, killing the Egyptian. He fled to the land of Midian, where this happened:
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. (Exodus 3:1-6 ESV)
Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10 ESV)
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14 ESV)
A Bush that doesn’t burn up is certainly odd. It indicated the presence of an angel or messenger of God, but the Bible interchangeably says this was God. They seem to be two ways of talking about the same thing.
He announces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. This means he is the God of the covenant promise. He is the God who wants to bless the world through their descendants, including Moses.
God commissions Moses to lead the people of Israel, now slaves, out of Egypt. This sounds like a fool’s mission. It’s dangerous, and many lives could be lost. Moses knows they’ll question his sanity, so he asks for God’s name.
The name God gives may seem confusing – I AM? In Hebrew, this was essentially Yahweh. Sometimes you’ll hear people pronounce it like Jehovah. What it really means, in English, is I AM. Out of respect, the Bible sometimes only prints THE LORD instead of Yahweh, so there can be no chance of misusing God’s named. These all mean the same thing – God is I AM.
This is like a riddle – God just is. Before anything else existed, he wouldn’t have needed a name, because there was nothing else to confuse him with.
Question: Why do you think god appeared to Moses in such a particular way? Why fire? Why give a name?