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Moses and the Burning Bush

Moses and the Burning Bush

God saved Moses’ life and called him to lead the Israelites. ~ Wendy Blight


God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” — Exodus 3:14

As Exodus 3 opens, we find Moses in a most extraordinary encounter, standing next to a burning bush wrestling through his doubts with God.

1. Where else do we see God revealing Himself, or His will, accompanied by fire? See Exodus 13:21, Exodus 15:7, Exodus 19:18 and Malachi 3:2–3. What does Hebrews 12:29 say about God?

Why would God choose fire? Because throughout Scripture, God presents fire as purifying and refining. It separates the impurities and leaves what is valuable. Friend, when God brings or allows the fiery furnace of discomfort in our lives, it does not burn indiscriminately. It burns intentionally, to make us more like Him. We can trust that it is always for our refinement and never for our destruction. God knew Moses was about to walk with God’s people through some serious refining.

God also knew Moses lacked what He needed to step into His assignment. So, the fire was dramatic. Necessary. A powerful reminder of who God was, who Moses was, and who God was calling him to be.

In Exodus 3:11, Moses, who had been hiding as a fugitive for 40 years, questioned God’s assignment. Moses asked,

Who am I that I should go... and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

God simply replied,

I will be with you. — Exodus 3:12

It is interesting that God doesn’t build up Moses’ confidence. He simply gives Moses a promise. He affirmed that He would be with Moses.

Moses asks for more assurance. Who exactly is it that will be with him as he returns to Egypt?

God then gives Moses a special revelation of who He is. God gives Moses a new name to call Him. God says, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). Though the meaning of this name is not completely certain, one possible meaning is “I will be to you all that I AM.”

How I love this name God has given Moses in the midst of the fear of the unknown! God knew what lay ahead for Moses. Moses did not. Through this name, God promised to be EVERYTHING Moses needed. Everything Israel needed to ensure that the nations around them knew that the Israelites’ God was the One True God.

2. How do the following New Testament passages undergird what we have learned in today’s reading? (Romans 8:35–37, 1 Peter 1:6–7, and James 1:2–4)

What a beautiful reminder that who we are is not nearly as important as who God is.

We need to ask where, or to whom, do we look to fill our longings? More specifically, we should pause and ask, in what or whom do we place our faith? In the things of this world? In idols, as the pagan nations did? In making a name for ourselves, like the ones who built the tower of Babel? Or do we place our faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? In Israel’s God? The One True God?

Friend, God, who is our great “I Am,” fulfills every longing of our hearts. Jesus carries this truth forward into the New Testament as He declares His many magnificent names. He is the Bread of Life sent so we never need to hunger or thirst again (John 6:35). He is the Light of the World so we never have to walk in darkness again (John 8:12). He is the Good Shepherd who will lead us so we never feel anxious, fearful, lost, or alone again (John 10:11). He is the Resurrection and the Life who guarantees abundant life here on earth and forever in Heaven with Him (John 11:25).

Take a few moments to ponder where you place your faith when you doubt, fear the unknown, or question God’s actions. Is your faith based on you or is it anchored in who God is? His character. His Word. His power. His very presence living within you.

“I am.”

“I am the bread of life.”

(John 6:35, John 6:41, John 6:48, John 6:51)

As bread sustains physical life, so Christ offers and sustains spiritual life.

“I am the light of the world.”

(John 8:12)

To a world lost in darkness, Christ offers Himself as a guide.

“I am the door of the sheep.”

(John 10:7, John 10:9)

Jesus protects His followers as shepherds protect their flocks from predators.

“I am the resurrection and the life.”

(John 11:25)

Death is not the final word for those in Christ.

“I am the good shepherd.”

(John 10:11, John 10:14)

Jesus is committed to caring and watching over those who are His.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the source of all truth and knowledge about God.

“I am the true vine.”

(John 15:1, John 15:5)

By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father.

Excerpted with permission from 40 Days Through the Bible by Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries Team, copyright Lysa TerKeurst and Proverbs 31 Ministries Team.

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Your Turn

Just as He was for Moses, God is everything we need! Who we are is not nearly as important as who God is. Let’s put our faith in Him today. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily