Exodus, Chapter 3


Exodus, Chapter 3


Don’t forget Joseph, just because we’re in the next book of the Bible. Don’t forget the conviction that Israel’s God did more than set the world in motion and leave it to its own devices. God made the world, chose a people to know him and bear witness to him, and acted again and again not only to deliver them, but to bless the world through them.

So then, Moses. Whereas Joseph trusted, without any indication of a divine appearance, God’s action in his life (providence), Moses has the blessing of a direct address from God, and a direct summons to participate in that action. “So come, I will send you to Pharoah to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.”

Terence Fretheim notes that this encounter between the LORD and Moses, in the wilderness, reveals some very important things about both God and Moses. We see it in the back-and-forth conversation at the burning bush. “Those who are brought close to God retain their integrity even in moments of closest contact. They are not merely passive recipients, but active, even opposing respondents. . . God acts in and through the work of Moses (as well as the natural order).”

Providence doesn’t mean that the world and human beings are simply puppets. And grace doesn’t mean that believers don’t find themselves caught up in the movements of God. No, somehow God honors the integrity of the world, and the integrity of human creatures, while graciously moving in and through us to accomplish his purposes.

It’s part of God’s “condescension.” God, being God, has ways that are not our ways and thoughts that are not our thoughts. But God doesn’t want to be God in any way other than “God with us.” God enters into human life, even into the trials and tribulations of his oppressed slaves in Egypt, to bring deliverance. God sends help in the person of Moses.

It remains the work of God and the calling of his people.


God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God who alone is God and who alone defines yourself: interrupt our routines when the time is right. Call our attention away from the daily chores when there is more important work to be doing. We thank you for giving us our individual integrity while drawing us into your saving purposes. Give us humility; give us courage; give us ears to hear and eyes to see, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

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