Burning Bush Revealed Presence


When we become curious to the divine, responding with our senses to the amazing characteristics of God, whether his divine nature or eternal power or awesome creativity or gracious mercy, that is the moment when he draws us into his revealed presence…

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:1-5

At the calling of Moses into service to God, the Lord revealed himself powerfully to the shepherd who tended his flock on Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared in flames of fire from within a bush. The bush burned, yet it never burned up. I love this image of the eternality of God. He was God before. He is God now. He is God forever.

Moses was attracted to go closer, to find out why this bush didn’t burn up. When we see glimpses of God, we see something that is out of the usual. Not of this world. Confounding the principles of this world. And when we become curious to the divine, responding with our senses to the amazing characteristics of God, whether his divine nature or eternal power or awesome creativity or gracious mercy, that is the moment when he draws. Draws us. With his call.

“Moses! Moses!” God called out. He called Moses. Just like he calls us. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus calls us (Matthew 11:28). When we dig into God’s call, we find out that his call is connected to his eternality. Yes. The God who numbered our days before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16) and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs also foresaw the day he would call us (Romans 8:29-30).

And when we answer, “Here I am,” pressing closer to the Lord who is calling us, we find out that we are engaging with the Holy God in a Holy place. In fact, this place, where he calls us, is that Holy place. “Take off your sandals. The place where you are standing is holy ground.”

At this moment, do you think Moses was thinking about his prejudices toward God? We all have them. We have prejudged God to be this way or that way. I encountered a woman whose view of God was oppressive and fanatical and interfering. She brings that image into every interaction, based on her history and experience. If she encountered God in a burning bush moment, however, all of that prejudice would be meaningless as the eternality, call, and holiness of God overwhelms her in his presence.

That’s the golden moment, when the presence of God overwhelms our prejudices about him so that we can know him as he is as he knows us as we are.

Respond to him. Respond to God. Go closer to hear his call. Respond to his voice. Enter the holiness of his revealed presence.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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