Moses was eighty years old when he received his big assignment while speaking to a burning bush. Moses had spent forty years in the palace of the Pharaoh, left because he had murdered an Egyptian, and fled into the desert. He then spent another forty years working as a shepherd for his father-in-law.
We pick up the story here:
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 at 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 fo 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.” ~Exodus 3:1-5
The flaming bush was most likely a common scrubby thorn bush native to the area. It was minding it’s own business, just sitting in a remote area of the desert, looking a whole lot like the other little thorn bushes around it. In the scheme of things, it was a very common and very ordinary little bush. It was also unimportant to most everyone in its immediate area of the desert. The bush lifted its leaves and thorns to heaven and anchored its roots deep in the earth. And then God decided to use it, right where it was, in the condition it was in, because God can use anything or anyone for His purpose. This bush was simply available for use. Our God likes to use things and people who are ordinary to let others see the extraordinary contrast of His presence burning within them.
When Moses turned aside to see the burning bush, he saw that it was burning but not burning up. The Lord of the Universe spoke to Moses from the heart of the bush. He was willing to speak through this otherwise insignificant little bush. God will use the foolish things of the world to show us what He wants us to see.
God still uses ordinary people to make His point. God may not ask me to be a Moses. Instead, He may ask me to be a bush that allows God to speak to others through my heart.
God’s presence was in the bush. While the bush appeared to be burning, it was not consumed by the fire. God protected it, not from the fire, bur through the fire. The fire of affliction touches all of us at times. But we can rest assured that God will take us through the fire. The fire will not destroy us, but rather preserve and purify us.
Zecharaiah 2:5 is referring to the city of Jerusalem, but the thought still applies. “And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,” declares the Lord, “and I will be its glory within.”
Will you be a bush burning for God today? Are you available in your corner of at the desert for His use? Or like Moses, has your time in the desert come to an end? Is your preparation complete? Is it time to take off your shoes because you are standing on holy ground?