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The Wisdom of Turning Aside (Exodus 3)



We are, in this present busy and distracted society, in great danger of simply “moving on” when God is seeking to get our attention. By God’s grace, we have a powerful picture of the immeasurable reward of stopping to see what the Lord wants to show us. In Moses’ timeless encounter with God in the burning bush, the images that come to our minds leave an impact on our spiritual life. Everything that was to follow in Moses’ life and the destiny of the entire nation of Israel was hinging upon this moment. Moses’ own sense of the holiness of God, which informed his entire ministry, began here with the command to remove his shoes (Exodus 3:5). He had his first true encounter with God here; he became the witness of a fresh visitation of the true, living God in his generation (3:6). He received an answer to prayer for an entire generation of God’s people (3:7-9). Moses was called into the purpose of God for his own life and given assurance of God’s continued presence (3:10-12). God gave mankind a revelation of His own Name and character which transformed our understanding of Him (3:14)! If all of that were not enough, Moses received a promise of the overwhelming victory the LORD was about to bring in his life and the lives of all of God’s people (3:22).


Notice that, when the LORD appeared to Moses, He came with fire that blazed upon the burning bush, but He did not say a word. If Moses was busy, distracted, unopen to the leading of God’s Spirit, he could have shrugged his shoulders and passed by. I believe the LORD would have remained silent and gone on to another person through whom He would bring deliverance to His people. God would still have delivered, but think of how different our Bible would be if Moses never turned aside! “When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses,’” (3:4). To think that all the spiritual riches that were about to follow hinged upon that one decision to yield to God’s prompting is staggering!


What is God using to get our attention? Do we ever stop and ask, “Lord, is there anything you’re trying to speak to my heart?” Sometimes, the Lord may respond by bringing a Bible verse to our minds. We would do well to stop everything and look up that verse. So many times God has spoken to me this way. He may convict our conscience of something un-Christlike or of some area where He is calling us to greater faith. What blessing in your own life – what good that may flow out to the lives of many other people – is now hinging upon your decision to turn aside and look at what the Lord is seeking to show you? We may never know, until we turn aside.


Pastor Alex

Teaching Pastor

The Rock Church

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