Bible stories of hope: Moses - by James Archer
Bible stories of hope is a series comprising a reading about someone's encounter with God, some notes about how they may have seen it, and a prayer.
Reading – Exodus 3:4-10
When the Lord saw Moses was coming to look at the bush, God called to him from the bush, “Moses, Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
The God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Moses covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have seen the troubles my people have suffered in Egypt, and I have heard their cries when the Egyptian slave masters hurt them. I am concerned about their pain, and I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them out of that land and lead them to a good land with lots of room - a fertile land ….. I have heard the cries of the people of Israel, and I have seen the way the Egyptians have made life hard for them. So now I am sending you to the king of Egypt. Go! Bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt!”
Moses was bored. He’d been herding sheep around this God-forsaken desert right through the prime of his life, and he was now getting past it. He’d had such high hopes after rejecting his princely upbringing to join his people as their leader, but they hadn’t wanted him and he’d fled for his life. What a waste of his potential.
Nothing ever happened here. The mountain of God, they called it – what tosh! Where was God when his people needed him? He wandered over towards a bush that had been struck by lightning and was burning brightly.
The bush was still ablaze when he got closer – strange, it was still crackling as if the leaves had only just caught fire, but it had been going for a good 20 minutes. What was going on?
A loud crack of thunder came out of the blue. Was he going mad? It sounded like his name. Then again, more softly – it seemed to be coming this time from the bush, and as he looked the flames seemed to form into the shape of a face. Perhaps God did live here after all. “Here I am,” he replied.
Forty years later, as he climbed another mountain to look over the Promised Land, knowing that he was about to die, he thought back over all his life with God since that first day. How God had used his knowledge of survival in the desert to help him lead God’s people, how he had met up again with God on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments and God’s wider instruction, how he had spoken to God on a daily basis as a man talks with his friend. Could he really have thought all his hopes were over so long ago?
Lord God, help me to know that you are with me, even when it doesn’t feel like it, and that you are training and equipping me in all life’s circumstances for the plans you have for me. Amen
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