In Exodus 3 we read:
1-2 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up.
3 Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”
4 God saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
He said, “Yes? I’m right here!”
5 God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.”
6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.” (Exodus 3:1-6, The Message)
Did you get it? The angel of God appeared to Moses. God saw that Moses had stopped what he was doing to look at the burning bush. Then…God called to Moses from the bush! He called him by name! Not once, but twice – “Moses! Moses!”
I know that I can’t be the only one that has ever wished that God would speak to me as clearly as He spoke to those in the Bible – that He would send an unmistakable angel and then call me by my name – Debbie! Oh, Debbie!
The Scriptures seem replete (aka brimming) with stories of when God spoke directly to people –
- Cain (Genesis 4:6)
- Noah (Genesis 6:13-21, 7:1-4, 8:15-17)
- Job and his friends (Job 38:1-42:6)
- Abimelech (Genesis 20:3-7)
- Isaac (Genesis 26:24)
- Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15, 35:1, 9-12)
- Joshua (Joshua 6:2-5)
- Samuel (1Samuel 3:4-14, 15:10, 16:7)
- David (1Samuel 23:2, 23:4, 30:8; 2Samuel 2:1, 5:19, 5:23-24)
Okay, so those were the big names. But he also spoke to:
- Jehu (1Kings 16:1-4)
- Elijah (1Kings 19:9-18)
- Isaiah (2Kings 20:4; Isa 6:8-12, 8:1-11)
- Ahaz (Isaiah 7:10-25)
- Manasseh and his people (2Chronicles 33:10)
- Jonah (Jonah 1:1-2, 3:1-2, 4:4, 4:9-11)
- Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1:3)
- Hosea (Hosea 1:2-5)
- Haggai (Haggai 2:10-23)
- Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1-17)
So why not Debbie?
I have questions, decisions to make. I want to be wise. I want to please Him. I want “my ways” aligned with “His ways.” Oh, how I have wanted a burning bush! Or at least a little sky writing!
Well, the truth of the matter is that He does speak to us. Perhaps not through bushes, fires and pillars of clouds, but He speaks.
He has indwelt us with His Holy Spirit – His Spirit who comforts us, brings us peace and helps us recall what we know about God so that we may accurately share our faith (John 14:15-27).
His Spirit Who counsels and guides us in our everyday lives (John 16:8).
His Spirit Who helps us when we pray by interceding for us (Romans 8:26).
And His Spirit through Whom He speaks to us! Yes, there are other ways that God speaks (e.g. through the counsel of the Godly, through Scripture, through other Christians), but a primary way is through His Holy Spirit that He has sent to live within us performing all those aforementioned functions – comforting, instilling peace, counseling, interceding AND speaking directly to us.
God wants to speak to us and, in fact, has to speak to us because He promised in Psalm 32:8 to instruct us and teach us in the way that we should go.
During Old Testament times the people had no choice but to rely on signs and the messages of prophets; they did not have the personal, intimate, indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit.
If you ask me, this indwelling is better than a burning bush!
Need to hear Him? Open His Word, get still and listen.