What? Who, me? Huh? What would you say if a bush called you by name? When God called from the burning bush saying, “Moses, Moses!”, the old shepherd answered, “Here I am!” (Exodus 3:4). The conversation continued with God saying, “ ‘Do not come closer ... Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he continued, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’ ” (Exodus 3:5-6).
Notice that “the angel of the Lord appeared to (Moses) in a flame of fire within a bush”
(Exodus 3:2). We know that this was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill angel because angels are never to be worshipped (Revelation 22:9). We also know that it wasn’t the Creator God, the first person of the Holy Trinity, because “humans cannot see (God) and live” (Exodus 33:20). I believe this is a Christophany. That is, the pre-incarnate Jesus, the second person of the Holy Trinity, appeared to Moses in the desert bush. He is referred to as both “Lord” and “God” in verse four. Reverently taking off his sandals, “Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God” (Exodus 3:6). It must have been Jesus who appeared to Moses at Mount Sinai!
Next, notice that God declared, “the place where you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5). When Joshua stood before the “Commander of the Lord’s Army,” (another Christophany) he was also told, “remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy” (Joshua 5:15). The sand in the desert floor wasn’t holy because Joshua or Moses stood upon it. Rather, the sand was made holy because of the presence of the Almighty who is “holy, holy, holy” (Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8). That place was holy because of God’s presence. Wherever God is, it is holy. But also, that place was holy because of God’s pronouncement. God declared that it was holy ground. When God says it, it is so!
Lastly, the voice emanating from the flaming bush said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” “I’m the God of Amram and Jochebed! I’m the God of the Hebrew people.” Moses could still recall his dad and mom, Hebrew slaves in Egypt, who had taught him about the Living God, the Creator God, the God of the Hebrew people. Moses also remembered the names of his ancestors, especially the superstars. Abraham, called by God when he still lived far away in southern Babylon. Isaac, Abraham’s firstborn son who had been placed on Mount Moriah’s altar. And Jacob, another celebrity among the Jews, was the father of twelve sons who had become twelve tribes.
But get this. Abraham had failed God on numerous occasions, most grievously when, to save his own skin, he pawned his beautiful wife off as just “my sister” ... twice! (Genesis 12:13 and Genesis 20:2). Isaac was also no hero of the faith. He committed the same sin that his daddy did (Genesis 26:7). Additionally, there was so little love in his home that “Isaac loved Esau ... but Rebekah loved Jacob” (Genesis 25:28). And Jacob, he was a mess with four wives and a broken home.
“Hey Moses” God said from the burning bush. “You don’t have to be perfect! The superstars aren’t super or stars! You messed up forty-years ago. You’ve been running ever since. But Moses, I can still use you today!”