International Sunday School LessonPurpose: To recognize that God calls us, like Moses, to realign our lives to act within God's liberating purposes.
For Week Ending June 7, 2009
For Week Ending June 7, 2009
Bible Text: Exodus 3: 1-12 (NRSV)
Background Text: Exodus 2:23-3:12
(1): Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb,the mountain of God. (2)There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. (3)Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ (4)When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ (5)Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’(6)He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
(7) Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,(8)and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites,the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (9)The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. (10)So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’ (11)But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ (12)He said, I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’
My Thoughts by Burgess WalterIn the world we live in today, communicating has never been easier, and yet how frustrating to try and get someone to respond to our call at times. Most of us are more interested in our hotels offering free internet access than we are in comfortable beds. We have the technology to be in constant communication, but we also have the ability to completely ignore text messages, e-mails and phone calls. Imagine how Moses must have felt, he left Egypt 40 years ago, he was minding his father-in-law's heard hundreds of miles from any town or city, and yet God was able to make contact.
God's formula has not changed; He challenged Moses where Moses may have been the most vulnerable. Remember he had to flee Egypt because he killed an Egyptian that was causing hardship for Moses’ people and Moses felt empathy for their struggle. God says to Moses in verse seven “I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed I know their suffering”. Now it was time for Moses to respond, he was willing to kill one of the “taskmasters” but would he be willing to go back and lead them out of this terrible situation that had continued to get worse over the past 40 years. The rulers of Egypt had changed since Moses fled; his life was no longer in danger,if he returned.
Notice God says in verse eight "I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians”. God will do the delivering, but God also adds a little more by saying “The cry of the Israelites has now come to me: I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them”. The words seem to almost vindicate Moses for his actions. How is Moses not going to respond to something which is so important to him?
The call of Moses shows us several important things; first, God usually calls us to do things which we are passionate about. This is why when we make suggestions about a project or mission we must be prepared to lead that project or mission. Second we have the same assurance that was given to Moses, “I will be with you”, Emmanuel, God with us. Third, we can not go far enough to escape from God, long before cell phones and e-mails or twitter, God was able to contact Moses and reveal himself and his mission, and Moses, though reluctant at first, responded to God's call.
How often have you tried to run from God? How often have you put him on ignore?