As I have been trying to discern my own burning bush, I have been studying Moses' call. Exodus 3 is the place I started for this. I think it is interesting that we worry about what God is calling us to do. Not that I think it is trivial, but I just always kind of figured Moses saw this talking, burning tree and was only worried about his speech impediment. It is really more like my own wrestling.
Like many of us, Moses knew he was a witness to something strange that was happening. There was this bush, looked like other bushes dotting this slope of the mountain, except flames lapped from it. Also, like many of us, Moses was curious so he went to investigate it. And, still like many of us, God called to him from within.
"Moses! Moses!" God called him distinctly, unmistakably. And Moses answered,
He didn't ask who was it calling. He didn't try to figure out how he was being called. He didn't try to figure out what the call was. He just, like Mary the mother of Jesus, said, "Here I am."
Interesting, God tells Moses to keep his distance. Maybe the bush is hot. Maybe the acoustics weren't so good if you got too close. I am not sure, but God doesn't want him to investigate anymore. Moses heard the call and responded.
Then, instead of Moses having to look for more information from the bush, God introduces Himself. Can I accept a call and let God do the work? Why am I always trying to pump God for information? His Word is proof that He desires to reveal Himself to us. Why can't we listen?
Moses is humbled by this revelation and hides his face, afraid to look at God. The God of the father of the multitude, the God of laughter, the God of the usurpers and the wrong doers...this God of All, Elohim, is speaking to Him. Am I as humble as Moses in the presence of Elohim? Am I reverent enough of the God of the Universe? I don't know. Sometimes there is this sense of God being this powerful, mysterious Person and I bow in my heart and worship. Most of the time I act like He is here for me alone. I forget my place in all this.
The next part is so cool. God says He has seen and heard His people's suffering. When I think He is no where to be found, when the cloak of misery is so thick and heavy that it blocks out God, El Roi, the God who sees, still is with me, still knows what I am going thru. How cool?
And He says He has come down to rescue them. Well, if you know the story, He has a plan for Moses to play in this rescue, but it is not Moses who is rescuing, it is God. Isn't that a place we also get crazy? I have this call, I need to figure out what it is all about so that I can fulfill it. Me, me, me, me, me.
This whole passage is filled with this Mysterious, Loving, Powerful, Gracious, Compassionate God. He creates the fire, He alone calls, His glory separates Him from us even as He cares for us, He reveals Himself to us, His heart breaks for us, and He desires to rescue us. If I am in there at all, it is as an inferior, broken, suffering creation. Yet, just as that fugitive murderer Moses, God sometimes lets us become part of His story. But that is for part 2.