Exodus 3:1-6 - 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.
The story of Moses and the burning bush comforts me, because it is such a gentle miracle. It is not at all the way I would imagine God introducing Himself to the future leader of His people! No, I would expect thunder and lightning—clouds and fire—in fact, something a lot more like Mount Sinai, later in Moses' story. But that isn't what God chooses for His first meeting with Moses.
He chooses a bush. Not a tree, not some majestic cedar or graceful palm tree. No, He picks an ordinary bush, and then He sets it on fire. But it's not a roaring fire either—no volcano of heat, no showers of sparks. It sounds very much like the bush was just quietly burning, all by itself in the corner of Moses' vision somewhere, and it took Moses a while to really notice it; it was so quiet.
Then, even after he noticed it, he didn't feel a need to look more closely until he realized it wasn't burning up and disappearing like a normal bush would. In fact, it looks like Moses' first thoughts could be summed up as "Hey, that's weird. I think I'll wander over and have a closer look." Only then does God call his name and introduce Himself.
If you think about it, this is very similar to what God does for us in Jesus, isn't it? He comes into our world not as a great king or warrior, not as a superhero—but as a tiny human baby. Who could be afraid of a baby? You would have to look very carefully to see the fire of deity burning away inside that human Child! But there He was, nonetheless—introducing Himself to us, the people He came to save.
There is one clear difference, though, between God's introduction to Moses and His introduction to us as God-come-in-the-flesh, Jesus Christ. To Moses God said, "Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." But to us God says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ... Let the little children come to Me ... I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst ... All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never cast out" (see Matthew 11:28, 19:14; John 6:35, 37).
In Jesus Christ God has come near to us; He has suffered, died, and risen from the dead—all for us. We need not be afraid. He is gentle and merciful with us, and He has made us His own.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, draw me close to You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Are you afraid of fire? Why or why not?
2. Are you ever afraid of God? Why or why not?
3. What helps you know you can trust God even though He is so great and powerful?
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