Sunday, March 24: Burning

1Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Mid’ian; and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  2And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.

Exodus 3:1-2

Why did God stop showing up in bushes? Wouldn’t we have a better chance of listening to Him if He set a shrub on fire and started talking to us? I know I’d pay attention.

These kinds of questions are natural to have. If we hear about God talking directly to people from the past, we have to wonder why we don’t hear about such occurrences now. One reason could be that God was talking to the early people to show them the way. And then we were supposed to understand that way, thanks to those who’ve gone before us. Another idea might be that God does talk to people today, but we don’t listen.

Lately, I’ve had a recurring thought: What if Mary wasn’t the first person God asked to have a son? What if He asked Sue and Jane and Tammy first, and they were too scared and freaked out to agree? And so what if God set bushes on fire in front of other people besides Moses, but Moses was the first one to actually look?

This theory might go against what we have been taught. We learn that there were certain people whom God chose to lead His flock. Isn’t it possible, though, that God had some other people in mind, but they turned Him down? Doesn’t God sometimes call us to do things, and we pretend we don’t hear? Am I the only one that has happened to?

Or maybe God keeps trying. Maybe He was throwing signs at Moses for a while. A burning bush here, a sudden bolt of lightning there. Maybe Moses thought, “If I just keep tending this flock and mind my own business, this will go away.” But God had other plans for him. Maybe God is doing that with us today. Lots of signs, lots of looking the other way. And then finally, hopefully, the one fiery bush that makes us take notice.


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