Monday, August 29, 2011

Exodus 3:4-6 This Is God Speaking

"When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look,
God called to him from within the bush, 'Moses!  Moses!'

And Moses said, 'Here I am.'

'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.'
Then he said, 'I am the God of your father,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.'

  At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God."

Exodus 3:4-6 (NIV)

Moses had gone to check out a curious sight which he had seen:  a bush which was engulfed in fire, yet which was not being consumed.  As he approaches, God warns him to take off his sandals, for the place was hallowed by the presence of God Himself.

Moses not only takes off his sandals, but hides his face.  Perhaps he had been told that no one was able to look upon God and live.  Or, perhaps he was just overwhelmed by the presence of this holy God.  [When we compare ourselves with others, we may think that we look pretty good, pretty holy.  However, when we compare ourselves with God's utter holiness, it's like comparing something which we think is white to the utter brilliance of new-fallen snow:  in comparison, the item we have looks somewhat yellow and dingy.  I imagine that in the presence of a perfectly holy God, we would look very, very dingy indeed.  In fact, we don't even come close to His sinlessness:  Isaiah 64:6 says that "...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..."  Even our acts of righteousness are often tainted by bad motives (like obtaining others' attention or commendation) or the desire for some type of gain for ourselves.

I think it is interesting that God identifies Himself to Moses as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  This tells me that Moses knew something of the history of these individuals, either from his parents' instruction during the limited time he had with them, or because of his own studies.  Perhaps before he made his decision to identify with the people of God rather than continue to enjoy the privileges of the Pharaoh's household (Hebrews 11:24-25), he had examined the beliefs of the Hebrews who were all around him, and to whom he knew he was related.  At any rate, he must have been familiar to some extent with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or else God probably would not have identified Himself to Moses in this way.

Can you imagine what Moses was thinking at this point?  What did this holy God want with him?

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