Monday, November 23, 2015

The Burning Bush

The burning bush.  You have heard of it.  You know what happened, you biblical scholar you.  Moses was doing his thing…minding his business…working a normal shift ‘deep in the wilderness’ as an obscure shepherd and the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a blazing fire in a bush.  Moses is amazed because the bush is engulfed in flames but the bush is not burning up…so he stops to investigate.

When the Lord saw that He had caught his attention, God spoke to him from the bush.  A bush of all things!  God speaks to him in a bush!!  They have a sweet encounter on holy ground and God tells Moses that He is aware of the hardships going on.  He has heard the cries of His people.  He has seen their misery and He has come to rescue them!!

Like you, I know about this encounter with God recorded in Exodus 3.  I have read it and heard about it and have even pondered it.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure what the big deal was about the bush not being ‘consumed’.  What did that really mean?  For some odd reason I wasn’t sure what the significance was.  Crazy huh?  Just being real here.

Something fresh hit me this last time I read/studied this.  The Israelites at the time were in the ‘fire’.  Times were tough, life was hard, people were struggling…and God comes to them to say…’yes, you are in the fire…you are in difficult times….things are hard and you are struggling.  But the fire will not consume you!!!

Like Moses, I get ‘deep in the wilderness’…in ‘Horeb’…which means ‘a desert or a desolate place’.  And, according to the Hebrew word for ‘bush’ here it is a thorn bush…one that sticks or pricks…in other words…it hurts!!  I get in seasons where the thorns are pricking and I sense I am in the fire. 
Do you know what I mean?  Surely I don’t think I need to explain to you what it feels like to be in the fire…and I’m pretty sure you know that the flames can be ignited in a number of ways...what people say, how things are at church, home, extended family, etc. and specifics don’t really matter.  What matters is you surely know what it is like to be in the fire.

The encouraging word here is this:  Yes, you may be in the fire….but the fire will not consume you!!  A fire with no damage!  God is present in the fire.  He speaks in the midst of the fire.  And as hard as this day or this week or this year or this season may be for you or me….it will not consume us!!  He hears our cries.  He knows of our misery.  And He has come to deliver us.  Set us free. 

2 Corinthians 4 tells us we will be afflicted but not destroyed!!  We do not have to be consumed by our circumstances!!  The great thing is that in the midst of the fire, I can rejoice and trust and exalt.  Maybe even stop.  Drop.  And roll!!

Let’s not fear being IN the fire….let’s get ON fire!!!

Let’s have thankful hearts this week even if we are in the fire!

1 comment:

Sara said...

Who knew!!! Amazing!