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Fear – a look at Moses at the Burning Bush

This is a fun look at Moses at the Burning Bush. We’ll think about how God is strong in our weakness, just as he proved with Moses. Sometimes when we feel fear, we make excuses, just like some of the examples below…

A Look At Excuses Given Not to Pay UK TV Licence (all true) 

– the dog was currently eating the document.
– the licence was lost when being used to line a snake’s cage.
– the TV was “for the dog” and so its owners refused to pay.
– the TV had been broken since “my daughter tried to feed the kittens on Rolf’s Animal Hospital”.
– a lady’s son had “stopped making payments as he’s gone off with someone he met on the Internet”.
– one man claimed, “I don’t need a TV licence because I only watch Australian soaps and as far as I’m aware you don’t need a licence in Australia.”

A Look At Some Insurance Excuses (truth unknown!) 

– No one was to blame for the accident but it would never have happened if the other driver had been alert.
– I didn’t think the speed limit applied after midnight.
– I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.
– The accident happened when the right front door of a car came round the corner without giving a signal.
– I left for work this morning at 7am as usual when I collided straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.
– An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car and vanished.
– I knew the dog was possessive about the car but I would not have asked her to drive it if I had thought there was any risk.
– The accident happened because I had one eye on the truck in front, one eye on the pedestrian, and the other on the car behind.

– The claimant had collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were – Q: What warning was given by you? A: Horn. Q: What warning was given by the other party? A: Moo.

Bible – Exodus 3

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

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.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “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.

The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “

God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’

“The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God’. But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

God reveals himself

God had to get the attention of Moses. God was going to do something amazing with Moses, so he revealed himself to Moses in a remarkable way. God would also lead the people of Israel with a pillar of fire by night once they left Egypt. Maybe this is another reason why God revealed himself to Moses in a burning bush. Or perhaps God was showing Moses his amazing power to show Moses that God was greater than any opposition he would face and greater than any other power!

Two types of Fear

The Bible tells us in Proverbs that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. This is the first and the right kind of fear. If God was to able to reveal himself to us as he really is, we’d be destroyed such is his holiness! Every time we read that God revealed himself in part to people in the Old Testament, we find them all falling to their face and realising how unworthy they were (eg Isaiah). Today, when God does amazing things by the Holy Spirit, we see people similarly floored by God’s power! This kind of fear of God is called ‘reverence’ and is more about recognising for who he is – holy and awesome.

The second kind of fear is the daily fear that we all face. This must have been something that even Moses felt. He said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” It’s hard to tell if Moses was fully fearful, but he did make some excuses – asking God what he’d say to people if they asked who was sending him.

It’s really interesting how God answered Moses. Moses asked ‘Who am I?’ God replied that ‘I AM.’ This is the kind of argument we need to hear and know when we feel fear…

What was God saying? Moses was asking who he (Moses) was. God was replying that he (God) was the eternal one, the everlasting and almighty God, who was, who is and who will be. God has always existed and is over everything. When we feel fear, we don’t think about who we are, we don’t look at the situation. Instead, we need to focus on who God is. Once we know that we have the almighty God of the entire universe behind us and fighting for us, it changes everything.

God’s Word to you is get your eyes off yourself and your situation, and get your eyes on God – I AM!