by Tony Nester

Holy Ground
Tony R. Nester
Exodus 3:1-10

Today we're continuing our series on the Book of Exodus. We're in Chapter 3 and verses 1-10.

Moses has fled from Egypt to Midian having murdered an Egyptian taskmaster and come under threat from Pharaoh. He's settled down with a wife and family. He works for his father-in-law, Jethro, as a shepherd. Moses has taken the flock far from the usual grazing grounds and its there, on a mountain side, in a wilderness setting, that he encounters God in the famous story of the burning bush.

Here's the story from Exodus 3:1-10 and it's printed in your worship folder for you to read. Listen now to verses 1-5.

(Exodus 3:1-10 NRSV) "Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. {2} There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. {3} Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." {4} When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." {5} Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."

This is such a rich story!
* There's a holy mountain of God: Horeb, which later we'll see named as Mt. Sinai.
* There's the bush burning with the fire of God -- is this a bush caught fire by lightening on a mountain side? Or is the fire the pure spiritual fire of God's holy presence?
* Who's the angel that appears in verse 2? The early church fathers said it was the eternal Christ, the Son of God.
* There's God calling Moses by name -- not once, but twice. Why twice?
* And there is the unexpected call of God claiming Moses to go in God's Name and deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh who has become Moses' ...

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