Thursday, May 2, 2013

Who wants to be the burning bush? Any volunteers? *Cricket Noises*

Exodus 3 
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.

     I read this passage a couple months ago and it has come back to me repeatedly. I keep thinking about that bush, planted by God on a mountain in the backside of the desert to be used at this one moment. A bush? On fire? In the middle of nowhere? Poor little bush. What was God thinking, right?
A few scattered things stood out to me about this story.
#1. The bush is in the desert. Because God put it there. Make sure if you're in a hard, dry place in your life, it's because God put you there. Sometimes we find ourselves in a wilderness of hardship and correction when we stubbornly pursue our will over God's. But if God has placed you in a wilderness, be faithful. He has a purpose.
#2. The bush never spoke in this passage, simply stayed where God put it and God did the talking. It's not what we do or say in our own strength, but what He says through us that makes a difference. Who knows when that one person will walk by who needs to hear a Word from God?
#3. The bush is unnamed. There are several species of trees or plants mentioned throughout the Bible. Mulberry, hyssop, palm, etc. We don't even know what kind of bush this is. Wouldn't you think the only bush God spoke out of would be named specifically? But it's not. Sometimes we wish for recognition in the times of obscure service. But would people glorify us or God? Would we make an idol of our own pride? As fallen humans, some hearing the story might have worshipped the bush if they had known what kind it was. Hey, they worshipped the statue of a calf, didn't they? But the bush's only purpose was to instigate worship of God. God got the glory. Not the bush.
#4. The burning bush only reached one man. Moses. But that one led thousands out of bondage and into the freedom of God's plan for their lives.
#5. What if the bush had given up? Life in the parched, sandy craggs didn't hold any parties or fellowship with the other trees and bushes. What if Mr. Shrub had said, "Forget this. I'm going to go party at the oasis where all the other bushes are"? Maybe Moses would have missed God's instruction for his life that day. More likely, God would have chosen another bush for the task. But because of his faithfulness, Mr. Shrub received the honor of being mentioned in the Bible. Yes, there is hardship in the desert, but do not give up. If we do, God can always use another. When we keep serving Him where He puts us, God will be glorified and we will be blessed.

What is your wilderness? Did God place you there or did you run upon it while pursuing your own desires? Maybe you are pursuing His call for your life, but it seems the road He's chosen heads straight through the wilderness. Is your calling faithfulness or repentance? In either case, God stands ready to help. Turn to him. He will be all you need.