Thursday, August 8, 2013

Exodus 3: Moses and the Burning Bush

Today's Podcast

Previously in Exodus

Given that it's been so long since I did a post on the bible (I had to go read my last two posts), I figured I would briefly remind everyone of the relevant stuff that happened in the last 2 chapter. Actually, I should probably just do this from now on. Why did I not think of this before?

The Pharaoh was afraid of the Israelite population explosion and tried to kill all of their male children. Moses escaped this fate and was adopted by the Pharaoh's daughter, putting him in a position of power. But he killed a slave driver and had to flee. He wound up in Midian and started a family.

The Burning Bush (v. 1-22)
Pic source

Moses was tending to his father-in-law's flock and saw a bush that was on fire but not being consumed. He went to look and heard God's voice coming from the bush. He told Moses to take off his shoes as it is holy ground, and told Moses who he was.

I'm not sure what to make of the idea that it is holy ground. I guess God has performed a miracle here and so it's holy ground, or perhaps since God's presence is there. Anyway, I'm wondering if there is more significance to it than I am aware.

haha, in Guzik's commentary he points out that Moses didn't see anyone, it was just a presence of God, yet he still insists that this is an instance where Jesus is appearing in the old testament. He cites 1 Timothy 6:16 which claims that no man has ever seen God. Instead of seeing the obvious contradiction here, he retrofits every instance of people seeing God to be them seeing Jesus instead.

God tells Moses that he has seen his people's suffering, and he is going to deliver them into a land of milk and honey, he's sending Moses to go do that. Moses says he's nobody and asks how he will accomplish the task, God says he'll be with him.

It's interesting that an all powerful God would use Moses in this way. Why not just snap his fingers and make it happen? Perhaps it's to teach Moses a lesson, but that seems to be causing a lot of pain and suffering for that end. If God were just a powerful being, but not all powerful, then this seems like a pretty cool thing to do to help his people. If he's all powerful it's honestly just confusing. It would seem that there are many better ways to accomplish his goals.

Moses asks what he should say to the Israelites. God says "I AM WHO I AM" and tells Moses to say "I AM has sent me to you"


Apparently this is related to the name Yahweh.

God tells Moses to say God has sent him to take them to the land of milk and honey.

Again, I have questions about the methods of an all mighty God here, but bottom line he's helping his people, so good on him I suppose.

The king of Egypt won't let you simply leave, so God says he will strike them with wonders. He also will have the Egyptian women take valuables and give them to the Israelites, they will plunder the Egyptians as they are leaving.

Well this seems a bit unnecessary.

Guzik points out that they are not stealing from all of the Egyptians, but they are instead getting proper payment from years of slavery. This seems like a valid point, but the last verse says that they will plunder the Egyptians. This suggests more than just getting a fair price for their work.


  1. The only way this story remotely makes sense is if that burning bush was made of reefer and Moses got high.

    1. Lol!...I always wondered where those "slaves" got all that gold to build the golden calf to worship...this explains it...they plundered it from the Egyptians and built a cow that evidently made more sense to them than Moses God did.

    2. That's hilarious.

      "dude, I was at this burning bush for like, an hour...or something, it never burned up!"

      Anna, that's a good point too, I hadn't thought about the connection with the plunder and the golden calf.

  2. I think the one thing the bible gets right is that the protagonists often have a dirty past like Moses killing and Saul the tax collector/bad guy. These protagonists then turn around their life and become good people. Okay their morality is based on God and as such is not always great, but they are getting better. Its the human desire to be better that seems to come through every time.

    1. That's true, there is that redemption theme running through, although they are often bad later in the story. Noah for example, is a drunk and flies off the handle at his son for seeing him naked after he had done all of that good stuff for god.

  3. It's good to see the Bible commentary back.

    There actually is a plant native to the area that can burn naturally so the story might have some tiny kernel of truth, but that stops with all the silly voices coming out of the plant.

    1. That is awesome! Do you know if they ever burn on their own in the wild? I could imagine on a hot enough day...why not?

  4. The great "I AM." God is quite the narcissist.

  5. I have always wondered about the burning bush. This is a very interesting explanation! Thanks!


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