Most of us are unfamiliar with the technicality of Bible printing. It is complicated at best. From transparency to the fibers dispersed on each page, to the light allowed through—we pinch thin corners and turn pages, watching them fold over and lay down.
Today, I’m in a campfire scene of sorts with Moses. Can you hear the crackling of the burning bush from the delicate pages of Exodus? Illuminating here is a story as holy as the ground beneath Moses’s feet. So, slip off your shoes and turn the silken page to chapter 3…
“The angel of God appeared to him (Moses) in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up. Moses said, ‘What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?’”
[Exodus 3:2,3 MSG]
In a blaze, God invited Moses to the grounds of His presence. You may already know that God gave instructions to Moses here on rescuing the Israelites. Personally, I cannot shake the image of the burning bush. Given the obstacles that Moses would later face, what does a blazing bush, one that does not burn up, tell us about God? What can we believe about Him today?
For you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind right now?
I’m currently at my desk. It’s early in the morning. The kids are at school. I’m well aware of time on days like today, because I have a long list of “to-dos” and a short amount of time in which to do them. The calendar is close by, and I can’t allow too much time to go by before glancing at the clock. It’s hard, as you probably know, to keep the same energy and motivation from start to finish. I like to think I give myself reasonable boundaries for work and rest, but I find that I take my doings all the way to the fence most of the time. My life, as a flame, can be bright, but it can also wane. That’s because I change.
For fire to burn steadily, it requires a catalyst—something that cannot be consumed. As we are, we burn out. But Jesus does not.
Charles Spurgeon puts it this way-
“That He is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour.” [emphasis mine]
As the story continues, Moses’s rebuttals and questioning leads God to say to him,
“I AM WHO I AM. Tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” [Verse 14 NIV]
In a mysterious expression, I AM again speaks of the unchanging nature of God. I AM precipitates (He is before all things). I AM is present (He is IN all things). I AM is after (He remains, after all is said and done).
When things happen to us, we are changed. Death. Disease. Betrayal. Rejection. Abandonment. Depression. Exhaustion. Abuse. Failure. Disappointment. Dishonesty.
Think back to the burning bush. It was not consumed.
Friend, what you are going through right now may change you. You may think that you’re going crazy. You may feel like you’re going to die. But, nothing that happens in your life will ever change God. Nothing. At this very moment, I AM is present with you. He knows your life—inside and out. You will not be consumed.
Scripture tells us that Moses covered his face when God revealed who He was [verse 6]. I imagine that my weakened knees would fall hard, pressing against the dusty, holy Earth. What about you?
Today, God, we speak this truth out loud… “We shall not die, but LIVE, and shall declare your works and recount what I AM has done for us!” [Psalm 118:17 paraphrased].
Though we change, you have not…you will not, Jesus. You understand the hard, hard things that we’ve gone through, and what’s still to come. In you, there’s a sameness that sustains, a hope we can hardly express. To the great I AM…we give you praise.