The life of Moses is divided up into three parts. The first forty years he spent growing up in Pharoah’s household and enjoying all the privileges that lifestyle provided. The next forty years he spent tending sheep in Midian, which was quite a lifestyle change! The last third of his life Moses spent leading the Israelites out of captivity and into the Promised Land. Someone once reasoned that the lesson we can learn from his life is this—You had better take care of yourself, because when you are eighty years old, God might ask you to do something big!
Let’s examine God’s call to Moses that is recorded in Exodus 3, and see if there are some things we can learn about God’s call on our lives.
The Lord famously appeared to Moses in a burning bush. Moses noticed the strange sight of a bush that was burning, yet did not burn up. When Moses approached the bush, God called him by name, and Moses responded, “Here I am.” Then God warned Moses not to come any closer, and that he should take off his sandals, “…for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Ex.3:5). Moses promptly hid his face out of fear. God then explained that he had seen the misery of his people who were in bondage in Egypt, and that he was sending Moses to bring his people out of Egypt and lead them to Canaan. Moses responded “Who am I?” to undertake so great an endeavor. God met his reluctance with the promise that he would be with Moses. And we all know how the story ends.
From this episode in Moses’ life, we might find some similarities in how God interacts with people today.
First, I think we all agree that God wants to get our attention. It probably won’t be as dramatic as a burning bush, but God makes himself known to people in various ways, and we would do well to look for his presence in the events of our lives. He might be trying to get our attention through the circumstances around us or through the people he brings into our lives. We would do well to seek his presence wherever we may sense that it is being displayed.
Notice that God spoke the name of Moses. God knows us intimately, and he wants to communicate with us personally through his word. Just as Moses answered, “Here I am”, we too should be willing to answer the call of God when it comes.
This is when God pointed out to Moses that he was standing on holy ground, and Moses responded appropriately with fear and reverence. We must never take lightly being in the presence of the Almighty God!
Then God revealed his concern for his people. God is not distant and unconcerned about the problems of those he loves. He reminds us constantly of his attachment to those who are his own, and he promises to respond to their needs. Scripture also reminds us that we must be aware of the needs of God’s people and do whatever is in our power to take care of those needs.
God proceeded to give Moses a job to do. It was such an intimidating task that Moses began to make excuses. But God told Moses that he would be with him. In the same way, God has something important for each Christian to do. Your assignment might seem overwhelming, causing you to hesitate and make excuses. However, God promises his presence and his power to encourage us and enable us to perform any task, no matter how daunting, that he calls us to do.
To sum it all up: we must seek God’s presence, answer his call and serve in his power, knowing all along that we are standing on holy ground!