Being around young children can be exhausting for a number of reasons. Their energy, their craziness, the noise, your worry over their safety…it can wear you flat OUT. One of the main reasons that kids are exhausting is that they want you to watch everything they are doing every minute of your wakefulness. Who has not spent an afternoon “relaxing” at the pool with children only to realize you’ve read the same paragraph of your beach novel eighteen times because they kept yelling for you to look up and watch them?
This, my friends, is why God created nap/quiet time on the eighth day.
Moses’ call to action came about in the same manner. Here he was, minding his own business and his father-in-law’s sheep, and suddenly God demanded his full attention. “MOSES. MOSES. MOSES. LOOK OVER HERE. WATCH THIS, MOSES! WATCH ME DO THIS TRICK. ARE YOU WATCHING? MOSES? MOSES?”
Instead of the tenth cannonball into the pool, God sent Moses a much more subtle sign…a burning bush.
Exodus 3 (Common English Bible)
3 Moses was taking care of the flock for his father-in-law Jethro, Midian’s priest. He led his flock out to the edge of the desert, and he came to God’s mountain called Horeb. 2 The Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire in the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was in flames, but it didn’t burn up. 3 Then Moses said to himself, Let me check out this amazing sight and find out why the bush isn’t burning up.
I have to wonder what God had been doing prior to the burning bush to get Moses’ attention. Did he tap Moses’ shoulder? Clear his throat? Create a great wind in the desert? Yet somehow Moses was unaware of God’s presence right up until the bush burst into flames but didn’t burn up.
Where is God trying to get your attention? We know with great certainty that God was present with Moses before this moment. God had protected Moses from infanticide by hiding him in plain sight with Pharaoh’s daughter. God saved him again when Pharaoh tried to kill him and then helped him safely escape to the place where he found his wife and security. God was always with Moses. Yet somehow in this particular moment Moses was preoccupied to the point that it took a burning bush to get his attention.
4 When the Lord saw that he was coming to look, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
Moses said, “I’m here.”
This begs the question of our own preoccupation as well. Is God trying to call you into action and you are simply not seeing the signs? Are you looking the other way due to your reluctance to respond to what he might ask you to do?
5 Then the Lord said, “Don’t come any closer! Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” 6 He continued, “I am the God of your father, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God.” Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
Are you hiding YOUR face because you’re afraid to see where God may be sending you?
7 Then the Lord said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain. 8 I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey, a place where the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites all live. 9 Now the Israelites’ cries of injustice have reached me. I’ve seen just how much the Egyptians have oppressed them.10 So get going. I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.
Moses did not want this job. He did everything he could to get out of it but in the end Moses was the one to bring the Hebrew people safely out of slavery in Egypt.
As you consider where God might be calling you to action, remember Moses. Don’t make God send you a burning bush. Lay aside your objections and say yes. You just might be the one that God is using to deliver somebody from oppression and injustice today.
Maybe it’s you he’s trying to save.