Those qualified for great service may expect for a time to be confined to obscurity for special preparation and the vision of God’s purpose.
If God gives opportunity and heart to serve Him, it is an ernest of His power to accomplish the work.
1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy 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 upon God.
7 ¶ And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
11 ¶ And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:
17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
19 ¶ And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:
22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.
Exodus 3:1-2 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 3:3-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 3:9-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 3:14-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Exodus 3:1-12 – God’s Message from the Bush
The learning of Egypt was not sufficient to equip Moses for his life-work. He is taken to the solitudes of the wilderness. That is God’s college. All who have done the greatest work in the world have graduated there—Elijah at Horeb, Ezekiel at Chebar, Paul in Arabia, and John in Patmos. God’s workers may take their arts course in the universities, but must take their Divinity course alone with Him. Often in the middle of daily duty we come on the outshining of his Presence. Let us be on the outlook for it, and take off our shoes.
This burning bush has generally been taken as the emblem of the Church amid the fires of tribulation; but there is a deeper meaning. The fire was the token of God’s presence. The bush was unconsumed, because God’s love is its own fuel. Notice the successive steps: “I have… seen;” “heard;” “know” (v. 7); “am come down” (v. 8); “will send” (v. 10). The “cry” of the previous chapter (Exodus 2:23) is answered by the “coming down” of this. See Luke 18:7. —Through the Bible Day by Day
None of us can tell for what God is educating us. We fret and murmur at the narrow round and daily task of ordinary life, not realizing that it is only thus that we can be prepared for the high and holy office which awaits us. We must descend before we can ascend. We must suffer, if we would reign. We must take the via crucis (way of the cross) submissively and patiently if we would tread the via lucis (way of light). We must endure the polishing if we would be shafts in the quiver of Emmanuel. God’s will comes to thee and me in daily circumstances, in little things equally as in great: meet them bravely; be at your best always, though the occasion be one of the very least; dignify the smallest summons by the greatness of your response. (F.B. Meyer)
Exodus 3:13-22 – Moses Sent to Deliver Israel
How unlike this Moses was to the man who, forty years before, had acted with such impulsive haste, Acts 7:23. He had learned much since then, and most about himself. But there should be no shrinking when God says I am. Fill in this blank check with whatever you need for life or godliness, and God will do that and more also, with exceeding abundance.
Had we been called upon to demonstrate the life beyond death from the Old Testament, we should hardly have turned to this chapter. But our Lord read the profound significance of these august words, Matthew 22:31-32. Evidently the patriarchs must have been all living when God spoke, or He would never have described Himself as being still their God. Had they ceased to exist He must have said, not I am, but I was the God of the fathers. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Exodus 3:13 – I am come down.
This is a marvelous chapter, because it is so full of God. If the previous one, in its story of human striving, reminds us of Romans 7, this as surely recalls Romans 8. There is little mention of the part that Moses was to play, but much is said of what God was about to do. “I am come down” (v. 8). “I will bring you up” (v. 17). “I will stretch out my hand” (v. 20). O weary soul, bitter with weary bondage, groaning beneath cruel taskmasters, afflicted and tossed with tempest, the I AM has come down!
God comes down to our lowest to lift us to his highest.—This is the theme of the magnificent, and of Hannah’s song. God comes down to the dust for the poor, and to the dunghill for the needy. You cannot be too lonely or broken in spirit for Him to notice and help. In proportion to your humiliation will be your exaltation.
He comes down to our saddest to lift us to his joyfullest.—How great the contrast between the cry of the Hebrews, because of their taskmasters, and the exultant note that smote on the rocks of the Red Sea! Such shall be your experience also. If you suffer in the line of God’s will and providence, you are sowing the seeds of light and gladness. Oh, anticipate the harvest!
He comes down to our helplessness to succor with his great might.—Israel could not help herself; but the resources of I AM were sufficient for every need, and they will be for yours and mine. This is God’s blank check; fill it in! Insert after these majestic words, wisdom, or courage, or love, or whatever you need most. And He will be all this, and more also not for a moment, but always; not spasmodically, but unchangeably. —Our Daily Homily
God gives to the body, – He is to the soul. (John Ker)