Devotions on Exodus 2:23-25; 3:10-15; 4:10-17–Moses and the Burning Bush
September 25-October 1, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out” (Exodus 2:23).
It didn’t take long for Jonathan’s parents to learn his various cries. He had a cry for when he wanted his diaper changed and when he was hungry. Jonathan used another cry to indicate he wasn’t getting what he wanted and he was angry. The cry that woke Jonathan’s parents one night was a cry of pain. His parents responded immediately to his cry. After a frantic call to Jonathan’s pediatrician and a trip to an all-night pharmacy, Jonathan’s cry began to subside as the pain from an ear infection lessened.
The cry the Israelite’s made to the Lord was not one of complaint or discomfort, but rather one of agony and desperation. Like any good parent, God responded out of love. God didn’t not move in miraculous ways. The answer to the Israelite’s cry of pain was the man, Moses. Like the Israelites, God hears our cries and responds to them. Though we may desire instant relief, God usually doesn’t use the supernatural. God does surround us with God’s love, though, and holds us tight until our pain is eased and our cries subside.
Hear our cried, Lord. We need you. Amen.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Exodus 2:24).
Juan and Maria had enjoyed life together for thirty years. They had raised a family of three and were the grandparents of one. They were successful in their careers and had traveled to many parts of the nation and the world. In the thirtieth year of their marriage, though, Maria was diagnosed with cancer. Her treatment involved surgery, radiation and months of chemotherapy. It was a horrific experience. Sitting by Maria’s hospital bed trying to help her through the side effects of the chemotherapy, Juan smiled as he held Maria’s hand. Years ago they had promised to be with each other in sickness and in health. He and Maria had made a commitment to each other and they were living out that promise together.
God has made a covenant with us. In that covenant, God promises that God will walk with us through life and nothing will be able to separate us from God. God will embrace us with love and empower us to serve. Together we will experience all of life together. There is no greater gift for which we can ask.
Forgive us, Lord, when we take the relationship that you have with us for granted. May we always cherish your presence in our lives. Amen.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“’I will be with you and this shall be a sign for you … you shall worship God on this mountain’” (Exodus 3:12).
The Lord must have said this to Moses with a sly smile. God had just given Moses a daunting assignment. Moses was to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites from their slavery. He had to prepare the Israelites for their journey and then lead then back to Mt. Sinai. Only then would he see the “sign” that God had been with him all the time. Day by day, as Moses faced the challenges of his calling, he had to do so by faith.
As followers of Jesus, we are led by the Holy Spirit. Often the Holy Spirit leads us outside of our comfort zones and challenges us to do things that we do not think are possible for us to accomplish. Many times we follow without any visible signs of God’s presence. Like Moses, we confront each day in faith—resting in God’s promises of love and constant presence. This is not necessarily an easy path, but it is part of the abundant life of being a child of God.
Lord, calm our anxious hearts and enable us to rest in you as we serve you today and in the days ahead. Amen.
Thursday, September 28, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I Am has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14).
“Hi, what’s your name?” is a simple, introductory question that can lead to an interesting conversation and perhaps even a new friendship. Once we know a person’s name, the relationship evolves from the abstract to the personal. The person is no longer the “old man,” the “guy in chinos with a blue chambray shirt,” or the “cute blond.” We know a little about the person—we know his or her name.
Not only does God know our names, but we also know God’s name. God is “I Am,” God is who God is and will be who God will be. God’s name proclaims God’s reality and also assures us of God’s presence. God will be what we need when we need at specific times in our lives. Are we weak? God will be our strength. Are we scared? God will be our comfort? Our God is the great “I Am!”
Lord, be who you need to be in our lives so that we can boldly share your love and grace. Amen.
Friday, September 29, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“But Moses said to the Lord, ‘O my Lord, I have never been eloquent” (Exodus 4:10).
It has been said that a common reaction to the leading of the Holy Spirit is, “You have got to be kidding me!” That certainly was Moses’ response. Moses certainly didn’t feel capable of accomplishing the task to which God was calling him. He argued that there had to be many people who were more qualified to lead God’s people out of Egypt. If Moses had been given a choice, he would have much preferred to live out the days of his life watching over a flock of sheep in the land of Midian.
As followers of Jesus, we do just that—we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Doing so may not be comfortable nor convenient, but it is how God’s will is accomplished and how people are touched with the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. We can respond positively to the Spirit’s leading, knowing that its completion is not dependent upon our innate talents, but on God’s steadfast love, overwhelming grace and unconditional forgiveness.
Here we are, Lord, send us! Amen.
Saturday, September 30, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“’What of your brother Aaron the Levite’” (Exodus 4:14)?
The sports world is populated by super stars. It has been proved time and time again, though, that if the super stars don’t have the support of the team and play as a team member, games will not be won and the super stars won’t shine.
Like sports, Christian mission is a team effort. We may be gifted, but we can’t do it all. When Moses teamed up with Aaron, they became a team that defeated Pharaoh and led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt through the desert to the Promised Land. When we team up with our brothers and sisters in Christ, ministry expands and more people experience God’s love and grace—all to God’s glory.
Gather us together, Lord, and send us out! Amen.
Sunday, October 1, 2017–Moses and the Burning Bush
“’And I will teach you what you shall do’” (Exodus 4:15).
Glenda decided to use the gifts from her retirement party to purchase a new car. She went to the dealership and was impressed as the sales representative rattled off all the features of the car. The navigation system could alert her to traffic problems and suggest alternate routes. When the cruise control was on, the car would automatically slow down if the car ahead came too close. The communication system was state of the art and the car could even parallel park without Glenda lifting a finger. Glenda purchased the car and, after a couple of hours signing papers, she drove it home.
She quickly discovered, however, that she didn’t know how to get the car to do all of those wonderful things she was told it could do. Reading the owner’s manual was a lesson in futility. When Glenda called the dealership to complain, she learned that they offered a three hour course to their customers.
Sometimes we feel like Glenda. We buy something and we don’t understand how it works. We travel somewhere and we don’t know how to get there. Our experiences cause us to be cautious when we are led to step out in faith. We aren’t sure what we will do. The Holy Spirit calms our hearts with the assurance that not only will the Spirit guide us but, like the Spirit did with Moses, the Spirit will teach us what we are to do. No worries!
Open our ears, Lord, so that we may hear, and our minds so that we may learn. Amen.