v 4. When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” ‘“Here I am!” Moses replied.
Moses’ attention was initially captured by the burning bush – it was sufficiently unusual for him to deviate from his normal routine and investigate. He’d been looking after sheep in the wilderness for nearly 40 years, and who really wants a change of routine 40 years into a job! Moses however was ‘present’ in his work, and alert enough to respond to God’s call to him. He was ready to be drawn into God’s presence, only to find there that God had a fresh purpose for his life. There are plenty of 80-year-olds that might have said, “Here I am – and here I am staying!”
Now, if you know the story, you will realise that Moses found the task that God was asking him to undertake was incredibly onerous. He argued with God, he voiced his protests vigorously, as we find later in the chapter, “But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” “ (v 11)
The striking thing is that God persisted with Moses, and dealt with every objection. When Moses had said, “Here I am”, this was no passing religious experience. This was Moses willing to be present with God – on God’s side if you like, and then to act in obedience. It was a permanent inclination to listen to what God was saying and then get on with the job.
I don’t know about you, but it is this ‘I am here’ with God on a permanent basis that is challenging. We live in the age of short-term goals, ever-changing jobs, and fly-by-night relationships and that makes a permanent commitment to be present with God a counter-cultural concept.
How are you getting on with it?