Moses and the Burning Bush
Open Your Bible
Exodus 2:23-25, Exodus 3:1-22, Mark 12:18-27
BY Annie Downs
Text: Exodus 2:23-25, Exodus 3:1-22, Mark 12:18-27
It’s all about the details, right? It’s the difference between getting to church at 11:00am and 11:10am. Or getting on I-75 South instead of I-75 North—just a small detail that landed me in the wrong state.
But it’s also in the details of a sunset, or a marriage proposal, or the secret ingredient of the best meal you’ve ever eaten. (IT WAS THE SAFFRON!) The details make all the difference.
They say the devil is in the details, but more often than not, I find that God is there, in the tiniest of details, waiting for us to notice Him. It happens ALL the time in the Bible, when a small detail changes everything.
This particular story of Moses has one of those tiny details I’ve overlooked for years. I grew up in the church, and I’ve known the story of the burning bush for as long as I can remember. I can picture it on the flannel graph: the multi-colored flames in the corner, Moses facing it, shepherd stick in hand, and shoes off to the side, because—as it says in Exodus 3:5—he was standing on holy ground.
But go back to Exodus 3:4, just one little phrase before. There’s this one tiny detail that changed the whole story for me.
“When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’” (Exodus 3:4).
It wasn’t until Moses noticed the bush on fire that God spoke out of it.
God wasn’t calling Him like you call the kids in from the playground. The bush wasn’t yelling out Moses’ name like he was the next contestant on a gameshow. It was when Moses noticed—when he went over to look—that God spoke to him.
Look around you. What are the little moments, the details, the things God is waiting for you notice? What’s your burning bush?
A place of worship?
A blog post?
A church you’ve wanted to visit?
A restaurant you’ve always wanted to try?
I often go walking at Radnor Lake here in Nashville. I walk the same path every day, the one that starts on the right and loops around the lake. About halfway through, there’s a little sign with an arrow pointing to another path: Ganier Ridge. I’ve seen it lots of times, but I’ve always just kept on walking—even though it caught my eye more and more each time I passed it.
One Saturday, I finally quit ignoring that little nudge and turned up that path. It was hard and steep, and it only got steeper as I climbed. WHY AM I DOING THIS? I thought, as a podcast about loving your city well played in my ears.
At the apex of the climb is a clearing, and when I reached it I paused by a bench to catch my breath. And then I saw it: the entire Nashville skyline, right there in my view. There’s the city I love, I thought, as the podcast reminded me that God places people in their cities on purpose.
He wanted me to hear it while I was seeing it. Once I noticed the “burning bush,” and walked toward it, He spoke to me. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it mattered to my heart.
What is the thing God is using to get your attention? I bet it’s different from the things He uses to grab mine—but that’s okay, because it’s meant for you, not me.That’s where God wants to talk to you. That’s where He has something just for you, if you’ll turn and notice and listen.
THAT’S your burning bush.