The Far Side
The angel of the Lord appeared to [Moses] in a blazing
fire from the middle of a bush (v.2).
One of the perks of global travel is moving out
of your comfort zone—running into things and
people you’d never expect to encounter. I took a
trip down the Venezuelan Amazon once, discovering that
piranhas are real and that monkey stew isn’t a legend.
Moses was living in Midian, so he was a long way
from home in Egypt. A Hebrew, he had killed an
Egyptian he saw beating a Hebrew slave. Scared for his
life, Moses ran. And ran. And ran. Now, 40 years later,
Moses was a different man living in a place that was still
not his home. In Exodus 3, we read that Moses had led
his flock to “the far side of the desert” (v.1 NIV). This was
a fitting metaphor for Moses. His life was a long way
from what he had imagined. For 40 years, he had been
on the run. Moses had forgotten who he was.
But God hadn’t forgotten. Moses noticed the odd sight
of a thornbush aflame but not consumed by the fire.
“This is amazing!” Moses said, “I must go see it” (v.3).
What else would you do if you were alone in the desert
and happened upon such a sight? As Moses stepped
toward the fiery bush, God spoke from the flames with a
warning. “Do not come any closer . . . you are standing
on holy ground” (v.5).
Moses wasn’t looking for God and didn’t expect to
find Him. In fact, further reading reveals that when God
spoke, Moses didn’t like what He had to say. Moses had
gone missing . . . for 40 years.
No distance or no stretch of time is too far for God, however. When God
intends to find you, He will find you. The question for us is: What will we do
once we’ve been found?
Consider the book where we read this story: Exodus. How does the
Exodus narrative (Israel far from home, trapped in Egypt) parallel Moses’
In what ways are you on the far side of the desert right now? What
would your reaction be if God spoke to you in this place?