Exodus 2-4, Part 2: Have You Had Your Burning Bush Moment?
Exodus two through four is, is very dense narrative theology. It’s not something that you and I are used to. When we’re taught about things or theology in general, we’re taught about it in lists. God is number one, this number two, this number three, this. But what’s happening early on in this book is we are being introduced to a character too. God in this book and the way he interacts with people in the story, and we’re just given a ton of information about who God is and how he acts and, and what his character is just in this interaction with Moses. Now you can show who the character of a story is in two ways. And as you’re watching TV or movie or whatever, you pay attention to this. The first way is in a conversation. Someone can outright say you know, you, you’re such a, you know, it’s such a loose cannon.
Well then you know, you’re looking at the police officer who’s a loose cannon who’s kind of willing to go outside the law, you know, and that kind of archetype of a person or, or you say, you know, you’re so boring, you kind of know or you know you’re, you’re, you’re really smarter. Whatever. Like a character can can say it out loud and then you know the kind of characteristics you’re dealing with with it. And the second way is you can show it, you can show by what they do in the opening scenes of the movie and how they interact with others. That shows you a lot about who they are. That’s what happens here in Exodus. Exodus two through four is the second most important passage, the second most important moment in all of the biblical narrative. If you want to understand who goddess, the first one being the cross, that moment shows you a ton about who goddess.
The second one is this moment here and all of the things that God has revealed all of this moment, chapters two through four especially, but then on through the rest of the early chapters of accidents will be referred to in the rest of the Bible. In fact, including when they’ve tried to explain what happened at the cross and they try to explain what happened at the cross. They’re going to use Exodus language and ideas to explain it. So this moment how God is introduced to the nation of Israel here in their founding as a nation is really important. Remember, they were a family to this point. We’re introduced in Genesis to God who made the world and made a promise to Abraham and his family were introduced an Exodus to the nation of Israel, God’s covenant people. And then we’re introduced to how God reveals himself to them.
I want you pay attention to the narrative form. I want you to learn to appreciate the perfection of God’s inspiration of scriptures, but also the genius of the people that God chose to write the scriptures. If you learn to appreciate how Moses probably penned vert chapters two through four to be a narrative dump of theology. I mean like dumping the theology on use. You understand a ton about God right from the beginning. If you appreciate that it’s going to shape the way you look at the rest of this book. So this sermon here, like last week is not a how to sermon. In fact, many parts of the Bible are not how to, and that’s why I don’t preach a lot of how to sermons. I do some, but I think we need to look. I think we tend to look for how to sermons too quickly.
We try to read a passage like this and ask, well, what did Moses do? Should I do the exact same thing? And that’s where we leave it. And we miss out on the fact that the Bible was primarily written, including the narrative, including the story as meditation literature. It was written for you to think about the story. Think about the Lord’s first interaction with Moses. Think about how these moments work together. Think about who God reveals himself to be in this moment right now at 80 years old to help Moses fulfill the next 40 years of his calling. I want you to meditate on these things and I promise you as you meditate on who God is in this passage, it’s going to shape you. It’s going to form, it’s going to change you. So we got through one through five of who God reveals himself to be in this passage.
Last week. This week is is six through 12 it was going to be six through 11 but I added one more at the end. So we’re going to run through these things. I’m going to just explain and I, it’s not like a fine sermon how we, how we do this, but your big idea is who is God? And we’re going to answer that in seven different ways in this passage. Who was God? And I encourage you to then go read back through this passage and meditate on who your God is, who the God is that you worship. Number one goddess presence. Look at verse 12 he said, the Lord said, I will be with you and this will 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 Mallon. He is a present God.
This passage here, this first year is very reminiscent of the words that Jesus says after he gives them their great commission, the commission that go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, making disciples and baptizing them, and then he says what I am with you always. Just like Moses received a call from God to deliver the people of his real and then God promised that he would be with them always. So we receive a calling from God to make dissent to, to deliver people from the bondage of sin and then God promises he will be with us always. There’s parallels in that passage. Later on in the book, Moses remembered this message, chapter 33 verse 15 right after the golden calf incident, Moses steps in and intercedes for the people so that they’re not judged in this amazing moment where God reveals that he is looking for someone to stand between sinful people and a Holy God. [inaudible]
One ultimately one day will be Jesus. In this moment he obey. Moses does this, he intercedes and, and then God says, okay, I won’t strike him down, and Moses says these words, we won’t go into the land if you don’t come with us. Moses has learned the less. He doesn’t just want to land. He doesn’t just want freedom. He doesn’t just want prosperity and the good land flowing with milk and honey. He wants God. And if he can’t have God in that land, he doesn’t want the land. He’d rather be in the wilderness. Have you ever been offered everything you ever wanted sat and instead, unless I can be closer to God, I don’t want that.
The ultimate gray and of getting everything you ever wanted is that moment when you realize, Oh, I got what I wanted and this is it. This is all [inaudible] that was better without it. Do you have, is the prayer of your heart? God, I have dreams. I have goals, I have destinations I want to get to. There are things I want to do, but unless you go with me, I’m not going to pursue them. If you won’t be with me, I’m content to stay here in the wilderness because you’re here. Set your mindset. The second one is verse 14 this famous passage, Moses says, verse 13 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, what is the name? What shall I say to them? God said to Moses, I am who I am.
And he said, say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you. This word I am is God’s name. It’s who he reveals himself to be in the word of God. When you see most of your translations, when you see all caps with the word Lord, big L, big O, big R, big D kind of the L will always be a little bigger, but they’re all capital letters. That’s this name [inaudible]. This name that is revealed here, the word that God probably actually said is, is, ah, yeah, literally I am. But the response that we give to it is Yahweh way. In other words, he is, it’s a response to the character of God. So when you hear the word y’all way, it’s the Lord is he is. He exists. The name was introduced before, but in this story, but I think we should understand this. There’s been 400 years the people have drifted. God is reintroducing himself to the people my name. See y’all way I am who I am. What is the, what is the essence of what this name is? This is number seven. Who is God? Number seven, number two for today, number seven. Overall, who has got his self existent?
He’s self existent. None of you can say I am. I can’t say I, I need food. I need sleep. I need friendship. I need God to give me breath. But God needs nothing, which is all the more stunning why he would want us, doesn’t need you. He’s not up there in heaven pining away for you. If you don’t love him or give him worship and praise. It’s not like he poofs into non-existence. He will be there and you will answer to him either way. He is who he is. He’s self existent but that it requires our worship.
God is present. God is also self existent. Verse 17 and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt, the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the parasites, the Hivites and JV sites, land flowing with milk and honey. We’re not going to dive into this right now cause this is really actually something to dedicate different time to, but the, the nations that are listed, there’s fascinating reasons why their lists go study it later. Okay. I invite you to, it’s not the subject of this book though. The subject of this book is devoted to the Exodus. The subject of that book of, of that study is actually Joshua. Joshua devotes itself to answering the question, but I want you to notice the first three words of verse 17 in my translation and aye. Wow.
John’s a faithful God. He’s a promising God. He is a committal God. He’s faithful to his promises. You ever known somebody who over promised and under delivered. They said they would do something. They said they would help out with something. They said they would be there for you with this and they don’t come through. It’s hard. It’s a bad quality to have if you want to be like your father in heaven, part of your life is to be a person of your word, to make promises and keep them. God is never, never fails to keep his promises. Never. If God says he will do something, he will do something. So if God says, I am with you always, you can be confident that’s in his character. It doesn’t change. So even in the moments when you don’t feel like God is with you, even in the moments when you’ve done things that you think would chase God away, because God is a promising God and a faithful God, you know he’s still there. God is a forgiving God because he promises that if you confess, he will forgive. He promises that [inaudible] and so when he says that, you don’t have to doubt that. Well, this time will probably be the time when he says no.
You’ve been tempted to think that ever been tempted to think this time, God’s not going to forgive me. I’m not good enough. I’ve not done enough [inaudible] earn it. God’s forgiveness is based on the promise that he offers forgiveness. That doesn’t change. It’s a character quality of God. Number four, God is mighty verses 19 through 22 but I know that the King of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do to it. Do in it. And after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. And when you go, you shall not go empty. But each woman should ask of her neighbor and any woman who lives in her for silver and gold and jewelry and clothing, you shall purse put them on your sons and daughters and you shall plunder the Egyptians.
He’s mighty. He’s going to work wonders. This same word wonders is used later in the Bible multiple times of the future promise of the Messiah. In other words, in the same way that God delivers the people of Israel from Egypt here, God promises to deliver you today through Jesus Christ and the wonder of the cross. These are mighty signs. Let’s just keep moving right now. Verse one of chapter four and Moses answered, behold, they will not believe me nor listen to my voice. Or they will say the Lord does not [inaudible] appear to you. I want you to think about this for a minute.
Think about how the story is set up. God appears to Moses in a burning Bush says, take off your shoes. The place you’re standing is Holy. Imagine Moses is on his knees without shoes on his feet before is burning Bush. Listening to what God is saying, God is promising all of these things he’s promising. He’s going to work mightily. He promising. He’s going to do all this for Moses and what is Moses his response? You sure God, are you sure? I don’t know if they’re going to listen to me. I don’t know if this is going to happen.
After all this, Moses still won’t believe and I want to ask the question, how many times does God treat us similarly, God says he’s going to do something. God says he’s always with you and you say, are you sure you sure you’re with me right now? It doesn’t feel like you are. What does this reveal to us about God? He’s patient as patient. It’s number five. He’s patient with you and with me. He’s patiently working with you and with me. Number six verses 15 to 17 well, I’m going to just summarize this whole next passage. It was already read. Really through verse 17 Moses says, I, I, you know, how is that going to happen? Are you sure? God says, well, I’m going to through you perform just amazing signs. There’s 10 plagues are going to come down on Egypt for their sin. They’re not going to touch the Israelites, but they are going to mess up the Egyptians pretty good.
He says, I’m going to you the ability to perform those signs. And then he says and then Moses response is like, ah, sure you don’t want to find somebody else for this. And God is like, no, I got you. He’s like, Oh, but I’m not a very good speaker and God is like, fine. Aaron will speak for you. Now what I love about this is the temptation with Holy men. You think about just out there in the world, people who get to speak directly with God, you’re like, well, we can’t talk with them. They’re too Holy. So we need somebody to be in between us. Moses is not setting himself up as a Holy man that needs an intercessor between us and him are between him and the Israelites. He’s not like so Holy that the Israelites can’t approach him. No. What he’s saying is I am not a good enough speaker like he’s saying, I’m, yes, I stand between you and the people, but in all my frailty, I stand here.
I’m a weak person. The Bible over and over again is just brutally honest about the weaknesses of people and God’s working in and through them in spite of their weaknesses. This next part is really, I don’t know how to put it other than equipping. He gives him, he gives them signs, he gives them miracles. It gives him a helper. He gives him a speaker. He helps them. And, and so I think the characteristic of God here is equipping God. If he calls you to do something, does not leave you by yourself to fulfill it. But we’ll give you everything necessary to fulfill it.
He calls you to be a mom or dad, the husband or a wife. He calls you to be a good friend. To be a good neighbor. If he calls you to work at that job, that’s frustrating and difficult. He’s going to equip you to have the ability to fulfill it, to do it. This is the character quality of God. It’s who he is. I want you to see that he’s an equipping guy. The last one is in this really, really like, let’s be honest. What are the weird three verses of this section that holds the Pura section with the circumcision and stuff, right? Do you read that and go, huh? Not quite sure. Killed. You read that really confidently as if you knew what it was. Say you want to explain it to us. So I did study in this this week and, and this is going to reveal the last quality about God.
I want you to, to see and read it again at a lodging place on the way they’re on their way to Egypt. The Lord met him, Moses and sought to put him to death. Is anybody else like that’s out of left field? Like why? Why? Why is Moses seeking to put our, why is the Lord seeking to put Moses to death? All of a sudden in this passage and Sapporo took a Flint, it would have been a knife type thing and cut off her son’s for skin and touched it to Moses feet. She throws it at Moses feet and says, most of you have an exclamation point and you imagine, I imagine her screaming this an anger at Moses. Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me, whatever that means, so he let him alone. God let Moses alone because the circumcision took place. It was then that she said bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision.
Really, really odd passage. Now, the best that I understand what’s happening here is number one is a poor is not angry when she says that she might be exclaiming it, but this is probably what’s happened is Moses has not fulfilled the covenant with God. He’s not had a son circumcised. He’s not following fully a faithful covenant with God in this moment and yet he’s still on his way to do this work. It’s a poor of finds out about it. Wait, and God comes to kill Moses because of Moses disobedience. He’s not all in. He’s holding something back. He’s wicked in his heart still. He’s not believing in God. And that’s going to mean maybe the death of the whole family. So Sapporo takes it on herself to make sure that the family keeps the covenant with God. I know that circumcision is an odd thing in the Bible.
Just there’s a whole trail of thought that this goes all the way back to, to Abraham. And I know some of these things seem archaic even for now. Just read it within the narrative context. It’s a difficult idea to understand, but just understand the narrative context. The, the circumcision was assigned given to God’s people to say, I am with God. It was something that God gave Abraham as a promise that, Hey, guess what, Abraham, you’re going to have offspring. Even though you and Sarah are old and you’re not. It’s going to come through an unlikely source. It was a promise of offspring given to Abraham. It was a sign of that. And that was something that was supposed to be carried through for years. Here, Moses isn’t really aligning himself fully with Abraham. He’s not aligning himself with the covenant people of God. He’s still holding something back and so Sapporo defending her son and maybe even her husband takes it on herself to make sure that the covenant is being faithfully kept and God relents from saying, what do we, what do we learn about God from this?
Many times in Exodus, God gets angry and I think it would be fair to say God is an angry God. You’ll notice in this though he does relent from that egg when they repent, when they turn from their wickedness, God turns from his anger. God’s anger is not like ours. It’s not like lashing out. It’s not that bubbling over feeling that we get inside of us. God’s anger is more of a steady anger, a determined fiery Inferno against sin. He hates sin because of its wickedness. He hates sin because of its destruction. He hates sin. It’s in his nature that he hates sin and he has good and right anger for it. How many of you have ever been angry at injustice? You ever been angry at a little babies getting their life taken from them? You ever been angry at the injustice of, of, of people being killed in a war? You ever been angry at people being enslaved? So you feel that anger well up? So anger is not always bad if it’s right, God has that kind of anger against all sin. You and I don’t, we don’t have the appropriate attitude toward all the sin in our life. It’s an inconvenience for most of us.
Oh, to have more of an attitude like that. And yet what we learn about goddess, that although he has a slow, determined anger against your and my sin, and he will judge us for that sin, he also will forgive us if we turn from that sin doesn’t hold out. He’s a loving God too. When you put these together, you see a passionate, caring God in all of these who works for his people and wants to be with his people, but he also does not need them. You see a God who burns with anger for unfaithfulness. But as quick to forgive, if you fast forward to the most important moment in biblical narrative, we see God at work. He is fiercely angry with your sin and with my sin, with your unfaithfulness and with my unfaithfulness, but he still wants to be with his people. He still wants to help his.
He still wants to deliver his people. So Yahweh way becomes a man to be with this people. The great I Am becomes a man to help them, to equip them, and he works in mighty wonder of deliverance to deliver you and I from our sin and from our bondage. His wrath burned against sin, but his heart also burned with passionate love and forgiveness without sacrificing justice for your sin or love for you. He made a way for sinners to be forgiven while their sin was dealt with, and that’s what the cross is about. The cross is about a burning to burnings, a burning and Ferno for sin and a burning passion and love for sinners. That’s what both are. I invite you to trust that when Jesus want died on that cross, your sins were judged. Your sins in his death were absorbed, the burning Inferno all on Jesus Christ, and I invite you to believe and to trust that in that moment, God is making a way for you to be forgiven and loved for him to be with you.
God is angry for your sin, but he’s also quick to forgive. If you’ll turn to him this morning, he will never, if you trust in that, he will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always be faithful in his promises to you. He will always work mightily through you. He will always equip you to do the tasks that you need to do. He will always forgive you. When you mess up, he will always be there for you. That’s the message of this passage. We see 12 pretty clear and a ton of other characteristics about who God is in this passage. This is who God is. I encourage you to read this story throughout this week. Meditate on who God is, study it, think about it, and then think about how that looks in your life today, what promises you need to take hold of about God’s character. This is the God you worship. Let’s take a moment and pray.
Father, I thank you for the way your people here today listened. I know that it’s cold outside and some of them are tired. I pray that your word would be taken and just kind of ring in their ears throughout this week because they would meditate on these qualities of who you are. That would be a rich
Spiritual energy, faith can you change and transform them, pause them to trust in you. If there’s people here today, you don’t trust that you are an angry and a forgiving God at the same time you’re Jesus Christ. I pray that they would see apprentice these things in your precious. Would you stand with me please? God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. Though its waters, roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the Holy habitation of the most Thai God is in the midst of her. She will not be moved. God will help her. When morning dawns the nations rage, the kingdoms totter. Yeah, there’s his voice. The earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The gut God of Jacob is our fortress. Come behold the works of the Lord. How he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes Wars cease to the end of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns the chariots with fire. Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts, the Yahweh of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob
Is our fortress. Thank you so much for being here this morning. I’ll be up here for a few moments. After the morning service, if you’d like to talk or pray, youth group is here tonight.