This meditation is a companion to a previous meditation: I Will Now Turn Aside - Exodus 3:1-4
Exodus 3:1-4 reads, “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 to 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 out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.”
A bush that caught fire in the desert under the oppressive heat of the sun was not an amazing sight. Yet, certainly, a bush that burned, but was not consumed was a very amazing sight. Thus Moses decided to turn aside from his common path as a shepherd in order to observe this amazing sight more closely. Yet this amazing sight did not exist simply for the sake of Moses’ curiosity. Rather, it existed in order that the Lord might get Moses’ attention. Even so, when Moses turned aside to approach the amazing sight of the burning bush, the Lord God “called unto him out of the midst of the bush.” Thus Moses’ perspective of this event was brought to a change. He now understood that he was not simply approaching an amazing sight, but was actually approaching the Almighty God. Indeed, the Lord God immediately stopped Moses from approaching any further in order that He might teach Moses how to approach aright.
Even so, the opening line of Exodus 3:5 states, “And he [the Lord God] said, Draw not nigh hither.” Certainly, the Lord had arranged this circumstance in order to meet with Moses and in order to communicate His call unto Moses. Yet immediately after He had called out Moses name and thereby revealed His presence to Moses, the Lord God then instructed Moses to stop approaching any closer. This was not because the Lord did not intend to meet with Moses any more closely. It was because the Lord desired for Moses to meet with Him in a right spirit. Moses was no longer to approach that ground with careless curiosity in order to observe an interesting sight. He was now to approach that ground with a full a full recognition that He was meeting with the Almighty God. In like manner, we must never seek to meet with the Lord our God and heavenly Father in a careless manner.
Rather, we must ever seek to meet with the Lord our God and heavenly Father in a humble and respectful manner. Even so, Exodus 3:5 continues, saying, “And he [the Lord God] said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” The Lord God instructed Moses to put his shoes from off his feet as a physical representation of humility and respect. Certainly, the Lord God intended for Moses to approach Him upon that holy ground. Yet the Lord God desired for Moses to understand that he could only approach aright with a spirit of humble respect. In like manner, when we approach unto the Lord our God in prayer, we must ever remember and know “that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3) Yes, through the great high priesthood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are instructed to come boldly unto God the Father’s throne of grace, “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (See Hebrews 4:12-16) Yet we must ever remember and know that we are coming to the One who sits upon the throne of heaven and earth. Yes, through faith in Christ for salvation, we “have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15) Yet we must ever remember and know that we must come unto our heavenly Father with the spirit of those who pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by the name.” (Matthew 6:9) Yes, we are instructed to cast all our cares upon Him, possessing the full assurance of faith that He cares for us. (See 1 Peter 5:7) Yet we must ever remember and know that this must be preceded by our humbling of ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” (1 Peter 5:6)
Indeed, that which should ever move us to a spirit of humble respect as we approach unto the Lord our God is our recognition of who He truly is. Even so, in Exodus 3:5-6 the Lord God revealed to Moses three characteristics concerning Himself – “And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” First, the Lord God revealed His absolutely holy nature. The ground around that burning bush was not “holy ground” because the ground itself was so special. It was “holy ground” because of the Lord God’s holy presence. Indeed, this is the message that the seraphim “rest not day and night” to cry forth as they fly around the throne of God – “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory!” (See Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8) Second, the Lord God revealed His eternally sovereign nature. Again and again and again, the Lord God declared, “I am the God.” He is the almighty One. He is the eternal One. He is the all-sovereign One. He is the “Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8) Third, the Lord God revealed His faithfully personal nature. Yea, He indicated to Moses that He had been the personal God of Abraham, and the personal God of Isaac, and the personal God of Jacob. In so doing, He was reminding Moses that He had walked in a personal relationship with Moses’ fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that He had ever remained faithful to them. Furthermore, He was revealing to Moses that He remained faithful unto the promises that He had made unto Moses’ fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and that He would continue in personal faithfulness unto Moses and unto His chosen people.
To all of this Moses responded with the reverence of godly fear. The closing portion of Exodus 3:6 states, “And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Indeed, we may approach the Lord our God with boldness through Jesus Christ, seeking for His mercy and grace to help us in our time of need, making our requests known unto Him and casting all our cares upon Him, knowing that He lovingly cares for us. Yet we must ever do so in reverence and godly fear. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalm 89:7) “Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.” (Psalm 33:8) “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” (Psalm 4:3-4) “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” (1 Peter 1:17) “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Posted in Meditations in Exodus, Biblical Humility, Righteousness of Our Lord, Sovereignty of the Lord, The eternal God, Faithfulness of Our Lord, Fear of the Lord