Exodus 3:1-6; Acts 7:29-34
BURNING BUSH UNIVERSITY
Actor Charlton Heston died recently, and in an interview made with him before his death, Heston related that his most moving experience in the film, The Ten Commandments, was the "burning bush" scene. This was touching to me, says a lot about Heston himself, and gives me many holy thoughts about the great importance of us all attending Burning Bush University.
The wording of Exodus 3:1-6 is unsurpassed by any other Bible passage, or by any secular literature. Note carefully the graphic language used here: "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Moses was a poor shepherd here in the lonely desert of Midian. "Moses kept the flock." That is important to know. Moses had been born in Egypt, taken in by royalty, trained and learned in Egyptian ways, words, and wisdom (Acts 7:22), but he was "cast out" in fear of Pharaoh after murdering an Egyptian. Next, Moses "led the flock to the backside of the desert." Here, being even further removed, Moses learns a lesson he never forgot. "And came to the mountain of God." What solemnity! "Even to Horeb." In the Sinai peninsula (of all places) is "the mountain of God [Elohim]." Moses had no such "mountain" in Egypt, but now he comes to it in the desert of Sinai. How strangely does the sovereignty of God guide His elect people in our experiences with Him.
"And the angel of the LORD [Yahweh] appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush." "When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight" (Acts 7:31). What a sight to marvel at! Greater than anything he had ever seen in Egypt! An unconsumed, burning bush out in the desert! "And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." Well he might, and so would we. Then, the mighty Elohim-Yahweh, "called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses." Only seven people in the entire Bible had their names called twice (that we know of), and Moses is one of them. How sacred is this spot and this scene! "Put off thy shoes...for the place...is holy ground." What a sight, what an experience, what an encounter with God!
"He turned aside." If we ever learn anything of the one, true God, we must be "turned aside" from the vanities and wisdom of this world. It was the faithful commentator, Matthew Henry, who said: "Moses saw more of God in a desert than ever he had seen in Pharaoh's court." So it is with you and I. "And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." Humility is a rarity in Egypt with its pomp and grandeur. But Yahweh knows exactly how to get us on our faces! And in the humbling and stripping of sinners, true "fear" grips our hearts, and an awesome reverence permeates our being. Shoes [worldly things] are "cast aside" in heart-felt repentance, and there is true submission to the great God of heaven. Yes, indeed, no wonder Moses said, "I will now turn aside, and see THIS GREAT SIGHT," for no other "sight" we have even comes close to this one.
The question now remains, Have we seen "the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6)? Have we been to Burning Bush University? I can assure you that you will never see this "sight" at either UCLA or UGA, as you can only get your B.D.D. from B.B.U. = Backside of the Desert Degree is only given out at Burning Bush University! How we need an encounter with the living God today, in His grace and mercy, through our Lord Jesus Christ. May it be so!