JUNE 4: BUSH-WHACKED & SIDETRACKED

BUSH-WHACKED & SIDETRACKED

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"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 Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him and said, 'Moses, Moses." And he said, 'Here am I.' And He said, 'Draw not nigh hither, put off thy shoes from off thy feet for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground."
Exodus 3:1-5
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Bush-whacked and sidetracked ...
 by a flame of fire in the bush.
Moses turned aside and marvelled at the curious spectacle blazing before him.
What in the world and how in the heck did a fire burn without being lit, and then cease to go out?
 What kind of queer and God forsaken desert pasture attended him?
Hmmm ...
Did a woodpecker bury himself so speedily into a cactus that a spark was ignited nearby?
Did lightning strike without lightning?
Was divine punishment being issued through a flame on a man who'd committed murder years earlier?
Yes, this had to be it ...
Moses was facing divine retribution as a final solution to an unsolved murder.
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But no ... we know this wasn't it at all.
We have the history called hindsight replacing blind-sight on our side.
We know that Moses was a chosen vessel of God who had a work to do, a call to fulfill, and a people to lead out of Egypt.
After forty very long years of sheep-herding,
 an environment composed of dry desert and barren wasteland,
and a foreign culture and family imposed upon him out of necessity,
Moses would surely be thrilled at the prospects.
But he wasn't ...
He was afraid, filled with doubt and great anxiety. He didn't shout for joy and desire to play the lead role in the deliverance of God's people.
Listen closely to a brief summary of his conversation with God and tell me what you hear:
"And Moses said unto God, Who am I that I should go unto Pharoah, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?"
Exodus 3:11
and
"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, 'What is His name? What shall I say unto them?"
Exodus 3:13 
and
"And Moses answered and said, But behold they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee."
Exodus 4:1
and
"And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken unto Thy servant: but I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue."
Exodus 4:10
and
"And he said, "O my Lord, send I pray Thee, by the hand of him whom Thou wilt send."
Exodus 4:13
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Hmmm ...
Does Moses sound like a man of great faith and unwavering confidence?
Would "you" pick him as the man to "lead the band" out of Egypt?
Does he sound joyful in calling, expectant in hope, and fearless and brave in his display of confidence in God?
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God gets ticked off momentarily at Moses:
"And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."
Exodus 4:10-11
and
"And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and He said, 'Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him and put words in his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth and with his mouth, and will teach ye what ye shall do."
Exodus 4:14-15
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Maybe the biggest miracle in Israel's history isn't that God delivers men ...
 but that He utilizes them, works with them, and loves them in all their frailty; and allows them to participate in His holy redemptive plan.
+Maybe in the early chapters of Israel's life we catch a glimpse of an extraordinary God and not an extraordinary man.
+Maybe we catch a glimpse of the men God chooses and uses to fulfill His plan.
+Maybe when we see what God can do with a "Moses" we realize potential in what He can do with us?
+Maybe miracles are simply "mysterical" happenings that begin with the hearts of sinful men and then expand out.
So much to think about, be encouraged by, and talk to God about.
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THREE STUDY CONSIDERATIONS:
1) Read the story of Moses and simply "wonder" aloud with God about His story.
What do you question and what impresses you?
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2) Do you believe your past prevents or presents you with a preparation for calling?
Just a reminder ...
"God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called."
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3) Looking through the lens of hindsight, did Aaron's companionship lessen or intensify the burden of leadership placed on Moses?
It's a curious question with curious implications ... but effective in invoking a wondrous exclamation of God!
God works to redeem frail men ...
of whom "you" are one.
BUSH-WHACKED & SIDETRACKED;
*God's flame keeps burning.
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