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God of the Burning Bush

Photo by: Mark H Anbinder

As a fugitive from the Egyptian Pharaoh who had raised him, Moses’ life slowed to a crawl.

Once he had been an adopted member of the Egyptian royal family. Now, on the back side of the desert, at the foot of Mount Sinai, he was watching over his father-in-law’s sheep. His life as a shepherd seemed to be going in slow motion– until he saw what looked like a bush on fire.

As he drew closer to take a look, he saw that it was a bush, and it was burning. But it wasn’t being consumed (Exodus 3:1-6).

As Moses tried to make sense of what he was seeing, he heard a voice come out of the bush. The voice called out Moses’ name and told him to take off his sandals… because he was on holy ground.

Fast forward 1500 years.

A voice crying in the wilderness announces that one is coming whose sandals he is not worthy to stoop and unloose (Luke 3:16).

The God who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush appears in the common flesh of a man.

This time, however, no one takes off their sandals in the awareness that they are standing on holy ground. This time the God of the burning bush gets down on his knees, and washes the feet of his disciples, including one who is about to betray him (John 13:1-16).

Two distant stories of shepherds, sandals, and so much more that we can barely begin to understand…  Are they meant to come together, on the threshold of the most momentous expression of judgment that the world will ever see (Matt 27:46)? If so, what do they tell us about the grace and truth of our God (John 1:14-18)?

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48 Responses to “God of the Burning Bush”

  1. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… they seem to tell me that the Old and the New are seemlessly connectd, as if it is written in the book of all books, and by One Great Mind! Gary

  • remarutho says:

    How good to hear from you Mart!
    What a great question!

    Further along in the passage you quote, John Baptist says, “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (John 1:17-18)

    The Father proclaims through the prophet Isaiah that (Isaiah 52:6, paraphrase) Isaiah composes that beautiful poem which we sing: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7) God gave Isaiah eyes to see this beautiful anointed one who would astound all who heard him proclaim – and who saw in his human presence –
    the character and power of Creator God.

    Ultimately, only the Son can both bear the Name of God and stand upon the earth with beautiful feet.
    Isaiah is prophesying against Egypt and Assyria – and by extension – Babylon. Isaiah is pointing to Messiah when he says further, “The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10) This is still coming to pass. — Maru