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The Burning Bush

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
May 3, 2022 12:01 am

The Burning Bush

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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May 3, 2022 12:01 am

While tending to the flocks of his father-in-law, Moses was awestruck by a bush that burned but was not consumed. Then he heard a voice from the midst of the flames. Today, R.C. Sproul draws us into this significant moment in redemptive history.

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God's people have become slaves in Egypt and they called out to God for help.

It's one thing for me to stand up against a few shepherds out of the wilderness was a Bermuda stand up to an Egyptian is bringing one of the sledge but who am I to go to Pharaoh and so I let my people go. Moses usually was education available in the Prince then through God's problems.

Moses 40 years in the desert taking care of sheep, by all appearances was a major, but is rumored today on Renewing Your Mind, God had a plan for Moses education in the desert plan that would eventually bring salvation to God's people last session looked at the circle surrounding the birth of Moses and his rescue from the decree of the Pharaoh that the newborn male children of Hebrews would be put to death as we pick up the narrative now leading to the episode of the burning bush. We see what happens after Moses has been adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh and brought into Pharaoh's house and into his family. We read in chapter 2 verse 11 not came to pass in those days when Moses was grown to stop there at that, that passes over an enormous amount of significant information because we are told elsewhere in Scripture that in those years of the early years of this young man's development. He was raised as a prince of Egypt given the most comprehensive and extensive education that was available anywhere in the world at that time and so he was again an example of extraordinary Providence.

He was given the opportunity of the highest advanced education that any young person could receive at that time in history, and all of that was to prepare Moses not to be a prince in Egypt, but to be the mediator of the old covenant.

So we read then the money was grounded.

He went out to his brother and he looked at their burden, so obviously at some point, became aware that he was not an Egyptian by origin or birth, but rather was a Hebrew and so this blood relationship to his kinsman inclined him to see how his kinsman according to the flesh were faring and he looked at their burdens and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, presumably a Hebrew slave.

One of his own Hebrew brother. So the Scripture tells us he looked this way and that way when he saw no one killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand and then the next day when he went out the old two Hebrew men were fighting and he said to the one who did the wrong wire you striking your companion. Here he is trying to mediate disputes between two slaves access to the one who was the aggressor in this fight why you doing this to brother and he said who made you a prince and judge over us. So you think you are Moses you intend to kill me like you killed the Egyptian yesterday.

I was now. I thought I did that deed in secret, but the secrets out this man knows that I killed an Egyptian.

He knows where the body is buried so this was a signal for Moses to make haste to flee outside the jurisdiction of Egypt and seek safety elsewhere. So Moses feared and said surely this thing is known and when Pharaoh heard of the matter. He sought to kill Moses for the first time that the Pharaoh's intention was to kill Moses, but Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian, way out in the desert way away from the city's way away from Bob of civilization and money when in the Midian. He sat down while well we are told that the priest of Midian had seven daughters and they came and they drew water and they filled the troughs to water their fathers walked in. The shepherds came and drove them away. It was not uncommon in antiquity in these arid lands, for there to be range wars and all kinds of encroachments and battles between shepherds over water rights and here the priest of Midian has seven daughters and they are tending the flock of their father rather than the men and they come to the well and they fill the trough in order to give the sheep their waterless necessary to live these other men commit I say, why we want to water our sheep and so the girls are just going to have to wait until after were done and Moses sees this Moses you see in these brief passages that describe him in the early years is a man whose heart is on fire for justice. He had no patience whatsoever for injustice and for saying people abused and miss treated and so his blood boiled at the sight of these shepherds coming in and forcing the women away, but Moses stood up and help them Moses water their flock. Therefore the Bible is the master of understatement. There's police shepherds coming in there chasing the women away. Moses old they were here first girls reshape or to let them drink and I'll stand here and defend an imposing figure Moses was, but obviously these other fellows did not want to mess with him. This is the Old Testament answered the true grip.

So they came to roil their father and he says how is it that you come so soon the day my girls are back early from watering flock and they said an Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds and he also drew enough water for us and water to flock Reuel was interested. Where is why did you leave this man call and bring along that he made bread that I can repay him for his kindness toward you. Then Moses was content to live with this man and he gave support his daughter to Moses and she bore him a son, because when Gershon for said I have been a stranger in a foreign land.

So now by chance happenstance of the hidden province of God. Moses is adopted into a new family and the family.

Reuel was the priest of Midian, marries his daughter bears a son finds a home is a stranger in a foreign land now happens were told in the process of time that the king of Egypt died and the children of Israel grown because of the bondage and they cried out, not this time. Moses is 40 years old is not a boy anymore, but the same people that were subjected by this enormous burden of slavery imposed upon them by the Egyptians are still slaves.

There still moaning there, still groaning there still crying as the burden of slavery gets worse and worse for them and they cried out in their cry came up to God. This is one of the most significant moments in Old Testament history when God heard the cries of this people when God listened to the groans of these slaves in Egypt and the Lord God omnipotent moved heaven and earth through his servant Moses to address that travesty of inhumanity. So God heard their groanings and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and Jacob Theis are the descendents exit of the man with whom I made this covenant, where I said I would make him the father of a great nation and I would bless him that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed in his descendents would be as the sand of the same as the stars of the skydiving prepare that promise to his son Isaac and then to his son Jacob and I watched as their children went down in the land of Egypt and the land of Goshen, but never forgotten that covenant promise that I made to Abraham's sons and now I hear the sons and daughters of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob crying cries are in my ears. So God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them fast-forward more years pass.

Moses is now 80 years old and every day of his life.

His job is to take the flocks of his father-in-law and have them grazed to the edge of the desert right to the base of the mountain of God mount for and for 40 years every single day Moses is not enjoying the rank and privilege. The palace of Pharaoh, but he is a shepherd making sure that the shape of a protective and nurtured every day. It's hard to imagine a more boring existence than that when I was in high school I worked in the summer at the Continental Can factory in Pittsburgh which is one of the largest factories in the world that made Kansas will have called common okay cans of every type imaginable soup cans, Coke cans, grape juice cans and Delco battery float cans in all arrests with my job a summer employee was the fill-in on the lines where employees were taken there weeks vacation we would be part-time and take over the job. I do think that this one job.

It had to do with bottle caps like Coca-Cola bottles, the TRIBUNE the church Peter open and sit down at a table near these two huge bins in the business from the left are filled with these metal bottle caps thousands of and on the right. The bins are filled with thousands of pieces of cork thought that big and you have to take a piece of the cork and push it in to the base of the bottlecap because that cork insulates the top of the bottlecap and there were people that were so good at this. If they could take like five To the left and five slave put them together. They were on piecework and their working every day for eight hours in the den of that factory.

There were people who were doing that same job for fifth teen years. After 15 minutes I thought I was gonna lose my mind trying to find fulfillment in my life. Stopping pieces of cork into bottle caps for well Moses and complained he did his monotonous job day in day out here and you're out until the most incredible experience, he would have in his life. All of this 80 years.

I'm not going to expound on the theological significance of it right now but I just want to refresh our memory of the narrative itself, which begins in chapter 3 of Exodus, Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law.

That's another name for Reuel, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the back of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God, the angel of Yahweh, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush so I looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Listen to Moses reaction listen to what he said when all of a sudden he's walking along the desert and he sees the corners Isaac phenomenon that he had never witnessed in this desert in 40 years. He looks over and he sees this bush. This seems to be on fire but as he looks at it he notices that the structure of the bush does not diminish ever, but in no way is the bush consumed, but the fire keeps burning so he says to himself, I will turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn, but were going to be doing. God willing next eight weeks to try to answer that question.

I'm going to turn aside and look at this great sight and try to find out why the bush is burning and is not being concerned and that's what I want us to look at this carefully as we know how in the weeks and days to come, because I believe that the answer to the question in a very real sense opens the whole of redemptive history encapsulates the very essence of God's self revelation and history and in his word right there in that moment Moses turns aside with the question why is this bush burning and not being concerned when God saw that he turned aside to look God called to him from the midst of the bush say Moses Moses on top of this vision of this strange phenomenon of the bush is Bernie's not being concerned now about to start talking to peers in a voice coming out of this bush calling him by name and by the way, using the repetition of his name, which is the Hebrew method of addressing somebody in internment terms of affection, Moses Moses said here I am God said do not draw near this place, take your sandals off your feet. The place where standing is holy ground. Moreover, he said I am the God of your father the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob and Moses interspace proves afraid to even look at God to remember how years later when he goes up on the mountain and he says to God, show me your face, let me behold your glory.

But in the first encounter with the living God's face.

You would to if you were standing in that place of holy ground. He couldn't bear to look at what was right there in front of the Lord set I've seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt.

I've heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I've come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey to the place of the Canaanites and Hittites, Amorites parasites advising the Jebusites. Behold the cry of the children of Israel has come to me and I have seen the oppression the Egyptians bring, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt and Moses has a question for God. The asked two questions in this encounter, that are of the utmost importance. The first question is a question we all want to ask when were in the presence of God, whom I did I just hear you say I'm supposed to go and leave these people out of bondage, Pharaoh got home I it's one thing for me to stand up against a few shepherds out of the wilderness that are taking the water away from my father-in-law's daughters was a for me to stand up to an Egyptian is beating one of the slaves, but who am I to go to Pharaoh as I let my people go. That's his first question God said to him you are Moses near the one I certainly will be with and this is assigned to you that I sent you when you brought the people out of Egypt, you will serve God right here on this mountain and Moses said to God in the when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers and sent me and they send me. What is his name what shall I say to them, he saying now or you here comes God said to Moses, I am who I am. Thus you shall say to the children of Israel. I am has sent me to you. Moreover, he said to Moses that she was the site of the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob and sent me to you. This is my name forever and this is my memorial to all generations.

I am who I am and that self-disclosure, we find no more profound or deep revelation of the nature and character of God anywhere in sacred Scripture. So our task in the weeks to come is to explore the significance of these things of which we've just heard in narrative form what do these things mean why the burning bush why the memorial name. I am who I am. Who is this God who reveals himself to Moses in this moment of history. Let's pray Lord be with us as we seek to plumb the depths of what occurred that afternoon. Midianite will prepare online for understanding our hearts for affection. We ask juices those are foundational questions are and is will discover this week on Renewing Your Mind there answered for us in the story of Moses and the burning bush.

I hope you'll make plans to join us again tomorrow as we continue this series by Dr. RC Sproul, you're also welcome to contact us and request the complete series in 10 messages. RC explains the significance of Moses encounter with God. The meaning of God's name and the way this story foreshadows the coming of Jesus request Moses and the burning bush discovering the character of God is contained onto DVDs when you contact us today with your donation of any amount to leader ministries. We will be glad to send it your way. There are couple of ways you can reach is what is by phone at 800-435-4343 but if you prefer you can go online or web address is Renewing Your By the way for recording this program from our podcast booth at the leader ministries national conference here in the bookstore at the conference by the time you hear this or conference will be over, but I do hope you'll make plans to be with us next year. Arch 23rd through the 25th. Our theme stand firm. How important is that in this day and age will be letting you know more about the conference. In the weeks and months ahead. But you can keep up with is that when you go to How is it that the burning bush is not consumed as a set ablaze the why is that significant. Dr. Strohl examines those questions tomorrow as he continues his series on Moses and the burning we hope you'll join us Wednesday for Renewing Your Mind

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