Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.”
When God called Moses, he was in the midst of the wilderness, making a life with his family and doing the work of a shepherd. In this classic example of calling, Moses was faithful to the task at hand, but also open and curious to what was around him. His awareness and response to his surroundings created the context for God to call him to his next assignment.
- Is there something you have seen recently that has stirred a curiosity in you?
- What has been your response? As you think back on it, what is your response?
- Is there something new that God might be inviting you to in the midst of your current faithful service to him?
Gracious God, thank you for your continual invitations to us, generously offered as seeds of hope and possibility. Help us in the midst of our daily responsibilities to keep our hearts in tune with you, so that we might see new invitations from you and respond with curiosity and obedience. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4 When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Moses went from tending flocks, responding out of curiosity to a bush that was burning, to standing on sacred ground before the God of his ancestors, whom he worshiped and revered. What a shift in his day! We can experience the same kind of shift when we step into uncertain circumstances at the prompt of God and realize that we are on holy ground.
- Can you think of a time when you were expecting a circumstance to go one way and it instead went another?
- Where was God in that circumstance?
- When have you found yourself on sacred ground?
Gracious God, thank you that your presence is everywhere we go, making sacred the things that we sometimes consider mundane. Give us the openness and mindfulness to recognize and embrace sacred moments and hear as you speak to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
7 Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8 and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10 So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
In this passage, God lays out not only what he has seen his people enduring, but also the future that he has for them. He desires to do good and redemptive work among his people and needs a spokesperson, an agent of his mission. Rather than focusing on the mission, Moses focuses on his limitations. This is how we often feel when God invites us into his mission in the world.
- Is there a place where God wants to use you but you are overcome by self-doubt?
- What else might keep you from accepting his invitation?
- What is one step you can take toward responding to his invitation today?
Gracious God, you are doing good work in the world and invite us to be a part. Please give us the grace and courage to hear your invitation and step through our own fear, trusting that you will give us the strength and power we need to accomplish what you desire through us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
12 He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”
One verse today, and it is one filled with hope and power. God is inviting Moses out of the wilderness, back to Egypt, where God’s presence will fill him with the authority to request and be granted that God’s people be released from captivity and return to where Moses has lived, to worship God.
- Where in your life right now do you need to hear God say, I am with you?
- Can you think of a time when you have experienced the presence of God in a difficult and challenging circumstance?
- How is worship a way to remind one another of God’s faithful presence?
Gracious God, we can all think of times when your presence has been with us in dark times. Thank you for the practice of worship that you have ordained for your people, as an opportunity to remember the many ways you have provided for us and been faithful to us. Help us to never lose our awe of you. In Jesus' name, Amen.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
In old age they still produce fruit;
they are always green and full of sap,
showing that the Lord is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
The psalmist likens the righteous to trees that thrive in two very different climates. Regardless of the context, those who follow God and dwell in his presence flourish, regardless of their age, continue to grow and develop in such a way that they produce fruit and are filled with the life of the Spirit. That is our hope as we continue to listen for God’s voice throughout our lives and trust Him to provide all we need to flourish.
- Where are you experiencing flourishing in your life right now?
- Are there ways that you have discounted yourself because of your age, young or old?
- What is God saying to you through these words?
Gracious God, we surrender our tendencies to take our cues from a culture that focuses on the outward appearance, celebrating youth. We lean into you and draw our life and strength from you that we might continue to flourish in you and bear fruit that brings you honor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.