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God Speaks From the Burning Bush

From my daily Bible reading:

IF“Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”” — Exodus 3:3-5 NRSV. 

“Despite Moses’ earlier failures and exile in Midian, Moses encounters God on God’s mountain in the form of a fiery bush. God declares the intent to deliver Israel from Egypt and commissions Moses as ambassador. This encounter is powerful and dynamic as Moses meets the real presence of the God of Israel. Yet the narrative is relational and conversational. The action moves forward in response to Moses’ five objections about God’s commissioning him. God remains resolute in his calling of Moses, but the dialogue displays patience with Moses. The implication is clear: the God of Israel is profoundly relational. God desires vital relationships with God’s people. Part of God’s relational character is self-giving nature: God reveals elements of his character and nature in response to Moses’ inquiries. Moreover, this text offers reflection on the nature of a divine call. Moses is needed for the service of God. There will be profound loss in God’s plan without Moses, but God’s call here is not primarily coercive”


“The “otherness” of God is immediately apparent. God’s holiness commands respect.”
“God identifies himself in relationship with Moses’ ancestors, the initial recipients of God’s promises (cf. 2:24 and 3:15). The God who is acting to deliver Israel from Egypt is the same God who called Abram to be the father of the new community that will exist as God’s agent of blessing for the world. This God has been faithful through the generations.”
“Take off your sandals” (3:5). Moses went a step further and covered his face. We might react similarly to an unconsumed burning bush and a voice self-identifying as “I Am” (3:14). But we ought to go unshod much more regularly, in church especially, and anywhere else, since nothing in creation is devoid of this burning, speaking, delivering God. Surely such a One could have delivered Israel without a stammering, murdering refugee like Moses? Just as surely, God could work without us but chooses not to redeem us without our help, unlikely partners in salvation though we may be.”
— Comments from The Wesley Study Bible. 

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