“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.’ So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’
Moses was going about his daily routine. He was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, leading them to the back of the desert over by Mt. Horeb. His feet were encrusted with the desert dust; his brow glistened with sweat from the blistering heat of the sun.
Just another routine day.
“Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the middle of a bush.”
Apparently, it was not unusual to see a dried up bush catch fire by spontaneous combustion in the desert. This was a direct result of the intense heat and blaze of the sun.
But this bush wasn’t burning!
The next verse makes me laugh: “Then Moses said, ‘I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.'”
Who was he talking to? Nobody there, Moses, but a bunch of sheep and they couldn’t care less!
Can’t you just see Moses straightening himself, dusting his clothing – looking just as dignified and intelligent as possible – then, very matter-of-fact, speaking to himself, “Ummm…I think I’ll just turn around now to see this burning bush that is not burning!”
How funny! God definitely has a sense of humor when it comes to His children.
But verse four drives my point home. “So when The Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him…”
What would have happened if Moses had been so deep in thought that he walked right past the bush thinking it was just your typical desert fire? What if he was irritable or mulling over an argument with his wife, Zipporah and not paying attention? What if he was just in a hurry to get the sheep where they needed to be so he could call it a day?
I have to wonder. How many times have I missed God because I was so caught up in my own little world that I forgot that He is an ever-present God? Have I missed opportunities because He was waiting for me to turn and acknowledge Him? Did my pride stand in the way of responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Father, I am so thankful that You are merciful and long-suffering with Your children. I am saddened at the thought of missing You in my everyday life. Open our eyes that we might see! Open our ears that we might hear!! Help us to think of you at the rising of the sun and the going down of the same. Help us remember You throughout the day, to look for You in the mundane routines of life. Give us expectant hearts. Here I am, Lord.