THE BURNING BUSH
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Exodus 3 we find the story of God appearing to Moses in the burning bush which was not consumed. Although we do not know all the lessons Moses got from the story, we find a few that we think may be of value to you.
First, if we have enough spiritual interest and willingness to turn aside from our ordinary pursuits to hear a revelation from God, we may discover that God has a greater commission for us than he did for Moses. He was to help God in the delivering people from the bondage of slavery to Pharaoh inEgypt. We have been commissioned to help in the delivering people from the bondage of sin in the entire world! To all to many of us, Matthew 28:18-20 is still just a passage to be quoted regarding something that was said by someone about 2000 years ago. You need to turn aside and see the burning bush!
Second, before we can be fitted for the job, we must recognize the power and purity of God. “Take off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the ground where thou standest is holy ground.” Peter tells us, “Be ye therefore holy as he who called you is holy” (1 Peter1:15). The fact that we are to “come boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews4:16) does not deny the fact that we should serve God “with reverence and Godly fear” (Hebrews12:28). I still remember a sense of shock I had many years ago when I heard a young man who thought that since Jesus taught that God is not simply a Heavenly Potentate, but a Heavenly Father, it was appropriate to start his prayer with, “Hi, Dad!” I never knew of a person who referred to God as “The Old Man Up in the Sky” who ever did anything significant for Him.
We need to understand that both words and actions can not only indicate reverence, but also help to create reverence. This does not mean we should try to force upon others either the form of words they use, or the posture of the body they should have when they pray, but it does mean that we should teach people the principle that when the use of “thee” or “thou” or the bowing of heads and/or closing of eyes helps to create or indicate reverence, it is proper to do so. Lack of reverence for God ALWAYS leads to lack of respect for His word, and consequent sin and disobedience of every sort.
Third, it may be that when Moses saw that the bush was not consumed, he felt that there was permanence and stability in that with which God was involved. ATeapot Dome, Watergate, or Iranian Arms Scandal may cause a government to be shaken, but we have a “kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews12:28) and Moses had a God that would still be there in a burning bush when all other bushes might be consumed.
Fourth, we need to understand, as Moses surely did, that even such a trivial or seemingly insignificant thing as a bush or a rod can be used of God to demonstrate His presence and power, and do great and wonderful things. A little boy with five loaves and two fish, a widow with one or two mites, a strong man with a jawbone of an ass, a little boy with a sling and a small rock or YOU, IF YOU DO WHAT YOU CAN, WHERE YOU ARE, WITH WHAT YOU HAVE can accomplish, by God’s power, all that needs to be done!
Fifth, we need to quit offering excuses–whatever they may be–for failing to carry out the Great Commission. Whatever the excuse is, “They will not hear,” “I cannot speak,” or “Who am I?” it is invalid. Remember that the same “I AM” who sent Moses and empowered him is the “I AM” that is “with you always even to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20). Now put your shoes back on, take your rod in your hand and GO!