Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of December 16, 2007

Exodus 3:3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
Exodus 32:8 “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'”

Most of us like to follow a fire truck as long as it isn’t headed toward our house or toward the houses of those we love. Many of us find a fire fascinating and fighting a fire gives us a sense of excitement. But most fires go out.

Moses turned aside to see a fire that was not going out. To see this “great sight” he had to get off the path he was on. While our passage says the Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses, it turns out that God Himself did the speaking. So Moses took time to turn aside to see something that the Lord used to get his attention. In doing so, Moses met and talked to God Almighty.

Life is like that. Unless something causes us to change direction, most of us would travel the easy path that the Lord likens to a broad way with many on it (Matthew 7:13). What could possibly cause us to “turn aside and see” so that we might meet and talk to God?

The great sight that most see this time of the year is the sight of the Lord Jesus as a baby in a manger. Babies and new life make us all wonder at the miraculous nature of life itself. In one sense we know exactly what it takes to bring a new life into this world. We marvel at the promise and potential and even the innocence of the newly born. But while we know what brings life into this world and while we are used in the process, we know that we do not produce life. Only God can do that. Every person born into this world is testimony to the fact that “God is” (Hebrews 11:6).

When Moses turned aside to see, he not only found out that “God is”, but he found out that God always was and always will be. This is where the abstract God of Genesis became a personal reality to the nation of Israel. The Ever-Existing One had “come down” to bring the children of Israel “up” (Exodus 3:8). I believe that Moses had met the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus.

The Lord Jesus “came down” from heaven in order that He might “bring us up”. There is a greater sight than the sight of the manger that should cause us to turn aside to see this time of the year. That sight is the sight of the Lord Jesus dying on an old rugged cross. And then the sight of an empty tomb after His resurrection should stop us in our tracks and turn us aside to see the One who was burned but not consumed. The Lord Jesus bore the fiery judgment of God, but it didn’t consume Him. The empty tomb gives us the assurance that the Lord not only died to bear the punishment our sins deserved, but He now lives to make intercession for us.

People who have rejected Christ will ultimately be cast into the Lake of Fire. The fact that they will not be consumed should also cause us to “turn aside to see”. In addition, the nation of Israel has been dispersed from the land that the Lord originally gave them because of their national rejection of this Ever-Existing One. It was the leaders of the nation of Israel that convinced the crowd and Pilate to crucify the Lord. However, the Jews have maintained their identity wherever they have gone. One day a repentant nation will be completely restored to their place in the land of Israel. They have been burned but not consumed.

We need to “turn aside to see” so that we can let God speak to us. And after He has spoken peace to our souls and has redeemed us from going down to the pit, may we not “turn aside quickly’ from the path of obedience to Him.

Bruce Collins

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