Unfortunately, sometimes, when we read this story, we may get caught up in the bushes, so to speak, and fail to see the big picture. By that observation, I mean that we can fail to see the larger point that God is wanting to communicate if we get caught up in the kind of bush it was or the kind of chemical reactions that can take place in the desert to cause a bush to burn without being consumed.
As one writer has put it, “When God decides to make an appearance, any old bush will do.” Any old bush would do!
And yet, it is the ‘any old bush’ in Exodus that is blazing while not being burned to crisp that gets Moses’ attention – a combination of sight and sound that attracts Moses to come and stand on holy ground: to come into the presence of God (3:3). First, there is sight because fire is coming out of the bush; and second, sound because God is speaking to Moses (3:4).
It is a scene of divine mystery, with God’s disclosing who God is as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (3:6); and it is a scene of clarity with God telling Moses two important things: first, God hears the cries of his people; God realizes the pain of the Hebrews in Egypt. God knows what is happening (3:7-9). Second, God assures Moses that God will go with him from slavery to freedom (3:11-12).
In other words, God speaking out of an ordinary bush is just the beginning of what God is going to do! God promises to remain close to Moses though it took a burning bush to get his attention!
How is God trying to get your attention? What burning bush have you seen lately? After all, there is always a bush burning somewhere!