Day 4

The Lord Calls Moses

Exodus 3:1-22, Exodus 4:1-31, Joshua 5:13-15, Matthew 22:23-33

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:1-22, Exodus 4:1-31, Joshua 5:13-15, Matthew 22:23-33

I’ve never seen a burning bush, but I know how it feels to hide my face.

Acceptance of the mission God had for Moses would mean leaving the life he had spent four decades building, facing the maniacal ruler of the most powerful nation in the world, fleeing again with only the clothes on his back and a nation to care for, and then leading the most miserable, insufferable group imaginable on a forty-year road trip through an unforgiving desert.

My calling may not be of Mosaic or burning-bush proportions, but what God asks of me, and of you, isn’t altogether different from what He required of Moses.

We are called to speak the truth in love, even to those who disrespect and disagree with us (Ephesians 4:15, 25). We are called to help lead people away from their slavery to sin and toward the Promised Land of freedom found in Christ (Matthew 28:19–20). We are called to run toward, not away from, pockets of suffering and hold high the staff of hope (Galatians 6:2).

This all sounds exciting in theory, but when the opportunity arises, our gut reaction is often the same as Moses’ response. We turn away from the call, begging, “Please, Lord, send someone else” (Exodus 4:13). If even a burning bush cannot compel us to run toward the mission God has for us, what will?

Remembering what’s at stake.

Tucked here in between the ignition of the burning bush and Moses’ decision to obey, we find an object lesson as unsettling to us as it must have been to Moses.

Moses’ staff becomes a snake (vv. 2–5) and his healthy hand becomes diseased (vv. 6–7) before a third sign is promised: the Nile River will turn to blood and will be spilled out on the dry ground (vv. 8–9). Sure, these are demonstrations of God’s power, but look again. This is a compelling reminder of who we are without Jesus.

We are snakebitten, attacked and weakened by the serpent who first struck in the garden.

We are diseased, desperately broken by sin and unable to cure our own sick hearts.

These first two signs show that we are enslaved to the taskmaster of sin without the means to break our own chains. The gospel is the only key that turns the lock for shackled people walking in darkness. We cannot hide our faces from this.

The third sign given to Moses runs like a river of hope through all of God’s Word and overflows into the banks of our lives. As Moses turned river water into blood and dumped it onto dry ground, he was preaching the gospel, pointing toward the day when the blood of our Savior would be spilled on a cracked and desperate world for the deliverance of our sin. In Exodus, the wooden staff of a shepherd was a foreshadowing of the wooden cross where the Good Shepherd would hang for us.

Moses remembered what was at stake, slipped his sandals back on, and put one foot in front of the other, walking out his calling. And the Lord, used him mightily in order to set the captives free.

Lord, help us look across the table, across the street, and around the world, remember what’s at stake, and choose declare the gift of the gospel.


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (161)

161 thoughts on "The Lord Calls Moses"

  1. Pamela Strommen says:

    Ha ha! Did you catch that Moses did not tell his father-in-law his true purpose of returning to Egypt? (Exodus 4:18). Was this more evidence of Moses’ lack of faith? God uses all sinners for His purposes. He is redeeming all of us. The gospel is salve for our souls in that we do not have to measure up for God to bring us to Himself.

  2. Robin NHendrich says:


  3. Robin NHendrich says:

    The perspective on the Miracles of God

  4. Amy Hickman says:

    Man, this reading was so good on comparing Moses’ situation to ours and the Gospel!!!

    1. Karen Stancombe says:

      I agree! I had never put that association with Moses’ story before, but it is fascinating to see the comparison!

  5. Kira says:

    I loved how when Moses asked God “Who am I that I should go…? God’s answer was “Because I am with you.” Wow.

  6. Rebecca Jean Verona says:

    Anyone understand why the Matthew portion of the study was there? I’m just a little confused with that.

    1. Jennifer says:

      I’ve struggled with this connection too. The obviously parallel is God saying to Moses at the burning bush “I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” Jesus says the same things to the Sadducees in reference to the resurrection. Perhaps it shows Moses and the task at hand being instrumental in our ultimate rescue?

    2. Amy Hickman says:

      I think the key verse is vs 32 where Jesus repeats what God said about being the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob…

    3. Lindsay Gietzen says:

      I think they are reminding us that the Old Testament connects so much with the New Testament, and that there is so much foreshadowing to the coming Messiah.

    4. Pamela Strommen says:

      Matt 22:32 “I AM” is a reiteration of Exodus 3:14. Matthew is telling us that Jesus was reminding the Sadducees of who God was and is and will be forever. Sadducees were a sect of Pharisees who did not believe in the resurrection. Perhaps Jesus was claiming that he himself is that living God.

  7. Peony Noirr says:

    We are stronger in God. His plan for us isn’t always about comfort; sometimes we will be forced to overcome uncomfortable and inconvenient situations. Ultimately God is in control and has the best waiting for us on the other side of our comfort.

  8. Kimberly Hartzler says:

    I started getting curious as to why God would make the staff turn into a serpent when it could have changed into any creature. My first thought was hmmm maybe he was redeeming- making a snake be the verifier of the spoken word of God opposed to his first introduction as the accuser. Then I researched snake symbolism to the Egyptians and saw they are used as a symbol of sovereignty, royalty, deity, and divine authority. He was showing the Egyptians how I AM was the supreme God. Stay curious while reading, explore! What awesome revelations God gives while we seek Him and His truth.

    1. Amanda says:

      Thanks for sharing! That adds new meaning to the passage.

    2. Pamela Strommen says:

      So helpful, Kimberly!

    3. Mary Foster says:

      Liked your exhortation to stay curious Kimberly….curiosity and asking God to reveal Himself as you look for things He wants to show you helps us engage with the Word and pushes us in our growth. Also a cool tidbit about Egyptian symbolism. So amazing the big AND little details the Lord connects!

    4. Nan says:

      Would you mind sharif what resources you keep on hand when you’re researching or want to dig deeper into something? Do you have books or just use online tools to dig deeper? Thanks Kimberly!

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