Where there’s a Burning Bush, there’s God

This morning my son was watching The Prince of Egypt, the Dreamworks cartoon version of the Bible story about Moses leading the Children of Israel out of captivity in Egypt. I took a break from doing housework and sat down to watch with him just as God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. Suddenly my throat tightened, tears started running down my cheeks. I must have heard this Bible story more than a hundred times in my life. Never before had I been so moved by this tale. Now this story animated for children was making me cry? 

As the recreation of this ancient scene played out, I watched the bush burn and listened to God lay out his commands and exact details of his plan for Moses. I thought to myself, “Hump! Must be nice. God, why can’t you ever put a burning bush right in my path to get my attention, and then tell me exactly what to do? Moses had it easy. I’d have no problem being obedient if you were that direct with me. Why can’t you ever just make it easy for me?”

The tears came when I heard that still, small voice speaking in my heart, “Daughter, I’ve put a thousand burning bushes in your path. The problem is most of the time you walked right by them. Moses stopped and looked at the bush. But you, you just keep running after things you’ll never find.”

Oh, how the truth of that struck at my very soul! I thought of the times I did see the bush and stopped to listen to God, trust God and follow his plan. But then I recalled other times that I ignored the bush and passed right by. I recalled times when even worse, I poured water on the bush and put out the fire completely.

I continued to watch the movie, snuggling my son close. Mose was obedient and did as God instructed. After 12 terrible plagues, God ground Pharaoh down, and he let the Israelites go. God used Moses to free his chosen people and lead them out of Egypt.

Just as Moses thought they were home free, the Children of Isreal encountered the Red Sea before them and a regretful Pharaoh’s army at their backs. But God wasn’t about to deliver his beloved people from slavery only to let them parish on the spear of a tyrant. First he put a pillar of cloud between the Israelites and the Egyptian army. The Bible says, “…The cloud brought darkness to one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.” Exodus Chapter 14:19-20 Then even more amazing, God commanded Moses to lift up his staff and God, “…Drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and left.” Exodus Chapter 14:21-22 Can you imagine what was going through the minds of the Israelites? Once the shock wore off, I would have hightailed it to the other shore away from those tsunamis waiting to happen on both sides of me. What goes up must come down. This portion of the story ends with Pharaoh’s army being swallowed when the walls of water collapse, and the Israelites making their escape into the dessert.  

The deliverance from slavery, a rescue from an avenging army. This is what God wants to do for us if we will just stop and look at the bush and listen. What are you enslaved too? He wants to free you from it. You simply must confess your sin and accept the salvation that God offers all of us through the death and resurrection of his son Jesus. For we who believe are all God’s chosen people. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29

Even after we receive his salvation, God will continue dot our path with burning bushes. We must learn to recognize those bushes, heed his call and do his will. When those bushes lead to what seem to be insurmountable circumstances, he won’t leave you to flounder on your own. If he can deliver 600 thousand men and their families from over 400 years of slavery by parting seas and conquering a king, think what he can do for you. I can think of many times in my life that God intervened, helping me conquer certain defeat.

My eyes are open anew to looking for those burning bushes on the side of the road. And I pray that my son might also learn to look for God, hear his voice and be obedient.

For the whole story of Moses and his adventures with the children of Israel, read the Bible books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. You’ll be amazed at the events that unfold. Even Hollywood couldn’t come up with a story like this.

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