Athlete, Make Room

Read Exodus 3:1-10

Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush is essential to the work that God would do through him.  Just as the apostle Paul must know the blinding glory and gentle grace of Jesus before serving as a messenger of God’s word (Acts 9), so it is with Moses.  The courage they would need to risk their lives for God’s purposes required a deep, personal knowledge of God that is more compelling than what the world has to offer apart from God.

What does Moses learn about God through this encounter?  He learns that God knows us by name, that God graciously condescends to call us by name even when we are not looking for him (3:1-4).  The burning fire, together with the command to remove his sandals, reveals the holiness or “otherness" of God (3:5).  Apart from God’s grace, Moses cannot stand in the presence of his glory or even look at God.  This is the faithful God he learned about as a little boy (2:9-10), who performed wonders through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (3:6).  The one true God draws near to hear the cries of his people, “comes down to rescue them,” and will lead them into a land of abundance (3:7-10).  In sum, Moses sees clearly, maybe for the first time, God’s personal knowledge of him, his absolute holiness, and his grace and love to redeem his people into fullness of life.  

Moses and Paul’s encounters with God are obviously not common experiences, even among biblical characters.  God usually works in more subtle ways to overwhelm us with his glory and love.  In fact, Moses and Paul’s encounters are written down for us, that we might encounter God through their experience (Romans 15:4).  There may be times when God “pulls back the veil,” so to speak, and we are overcome by his glory and grace, but we should not demand dramatic encounters with God.  We can, however, create space in our lives for God to more fully reveal his nature and character to us through prayerful study of Scripture and worship with God’s people.  Even Moses and Paul needed to continually create this space in their lives to be sustained in their service to God.

Questions for Reflection and Prayer

As you study God’s word, are you regularly making room for God to reveal himself to you?  Are God's love and glory the fuel for your service?  Take time today to prayerfully reflect on the nature and character of God as revealed to Moses.

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