March 25, 2019

Holy Ground

Exodus 3

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The Burning Bush

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” And he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”1 And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The LORD,2 the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. 16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’ 18 And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.3 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22 but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

Footnotes

[1] 3:14 Or I am what I am, or I will be what I will be
[2] 3:15 The word Lord, when spelled with capital letters, stands for the divine name, YHWH, which is here connected with the verb hayah, “to be” in verse 14
[3] 3:19 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew go, not by a mighty hand

Holy Ground



Key Verse | Exodus 3:4

When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

Bio | Matthew Wideman

Hello, fellow Journeyers! Matt Wideman here. What a joy it is to dig into God's Word with you. I "joined The Journey" back in 2007, and I have been immensely blessed through it. I was newly married at the time and knew that I needed to make spending time with the Lord my top priority each day so that I could lead and love my wife, Randi, as Christ loves the Church. I love God's Word. I love studying it, teaching it, talking about it, and applying it to my life. And I love teaching our two young daughters where true love and life is found.

Central Truth

My life is not defined by what I do but by who God is and what He has in store for me. I shall therefore walk in His purpose today—not focused on the monotonous or the mundane but on the Master.

Devotional | Exodus 3

I was sleeping on a futon in the basement of a top Major League Soccer draft pick, elated that I had just signed a $700 per month contract with the league and was getting a shot to play. Surely...

I was sleeping on a futon in the basement of a top Major League Soccer draft pick, elated that I had just signed a $700 per month contract with the league and was getting a shot to play. Surely this is what God had in store for me. This was it.

Have you noticed how most people define themselves by what they do? I did.

Now imagine Moses, a felon, 80 years old, having no assets of his own, working the family business for a boss he can't quit, with coworkers that are dumb (sheep). And he has been doing the same thing for 40 years.

Moses had gone from the palace to being a peasant. Yet God was not done with him; He was preparing him for what was to come. Have you ever felt that where you are in life seems empty? Perhaps God wants to develop you before He deploys you. Moses was learning humility. Perhaps God is more concerned with your character than He is with your career. 

Then Moses turned aside to see something on fire. Apparently in the desert this is not uncommon, yet Moses went to investigate further. God didn't call his name from the bush until Moses turned. Are you looking for God today? Do you make margin in the mundane of life in order that you might see Him?

Moses was told to take his sandals off because the ground he was standing on was holy ground. When you are a shepherd, you often step in a mess. God sees us as more than the mess we are standing in, though. The ground was the same ground that it had been for 40 years, so what was different now? Moses recognized God in it. Every step we take is holy ground today if we recognize that God is in us and with us!

Therefore, I can walk today knowing that every step I take is holy ground because Jesus is in me! I will not be defined by what I do but by whose I am! Today will be a day that I serve the King.

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Discussion Questions

1. How are you making margin for the Master in the mundane? If God has something to share with you, are you able to see it?

2. Are you in a place where life seems unfulfilled? What would you say that God is developing in you right now?

3. Do you define yourself by your career, income, likes, athletic ability, or knowledge? According to Ephesians 2:10, God has something in store for you. How would your day look different if you focused on the Master and what He is doing in you?

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