May 16, 2011
The Prayer Life of Moses
The Call of Yahweh to Moses
“When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, ‘Here I am.'”
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In John 8:58, Jesus proclaimed His deity to the Jews: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” The Jews picked up stones to kill Jesus for this claim, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple (John 8:59. Why did the Jews react so violently to Jesus’ claim that before Abraham was, “I am” ? We must pick up a little history here from the Old Testament that will lead us to understand the term “I AM” as Jesus used it that day, and why the Jews understood He claimed to be their God. It all started with a burning bush in the wilderness.
The Burning Bush and Moses. One day, Moses was pasturing the flock of His father-in-law Jethro near Midian. Moses had been born in Egypt, and raised in Pharaoh’s house. He killed an Egyptian when he was forty years old, and had to flee Egypt to live in the wilderness (Exodus 2:11-25). The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses from a burning bush, and yet the bush was not consumed (Exodus 3:1-3). Moses turned aside and God called to him from the bush. God always calls us to pray to Him, and we should think of prayer as a time where God moves in our hearts so that we understand His will for our lives. In prayer, God applies His words from Scripture to our lives so that we know what to do.
Holy Ground. God communicated to Moses early on that ground around Horeb, the mountain of God, was holy ground (Exodus 3:5). God instructed Moses to take his shoes off, and stand upon it. God likewise tells us that God has the power to make land holy, and set it apart for His own use. In this case, God wanted to change the perspective of Moses regarding: (1) the land; (2) Moses himself; and (3) Yahweh. Moses would learn more and more about these things as God worked with him, but Moses learned that day that God had great plans for his life.
I Am the God of Your Father, The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God introduces Himself to Moses through reference to the family of God. We know from Matthew 22:23, that Jesus used this same phrase to indicate that those forefathers of Moses were still alive with God, because God means by this phrase that He is the God of the living and not of the dead. We should always remember that Moses hid his face from God, because he was afraid to look at God (Exodus 3:6).
God Knows Our Affliction and Hears Our Cries. Whenever we pray, we should keep in mind that God knows all things, and cares about His people. We pray to the God who hears our cries, and knows all about our afflictions (Exodus 3:7). God knew about the people of Israel suffering in Egypt under their taskmasters. God has begun a relationship with Moses so that Moses would begin the process of delivering Israel from bondage in Egypt. That great deliverance began with Moses talking with God at a burning bush. We call talking with God prayer. So we may say that deliverance often starts with someone praying and listening to God, Who wants to use you to deliver people from affliction.
God Sends Special People, Like You, To Bring Good News to the Afflicted. God said He had come down to deliver the His people from the power of the Egyptians (Exodus 3:8). God had already begun the mission of deliverance, before He talked with Moses. God would break the power of the Egyptians. God would also take the people to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place inhabited now by other peoples. When we pray, we should always be clear to follow the plans of God, and not create our own plans. We follow, God leads.
The Cry of the Sons of Israel Has Come to Me. God clearly indicates that He listens to the prayers of His people as they cry out to Him in their oppression. When you are oppressed, and perhaps feeling like you have no one to help you or deliver you from some power holding you in oppression, then remember the God of the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:9). God listens to all our prayers, especially our cries for deliverance from oppression. No oppression and no power will be so great that God will not overcome that power. We must cry out to Him, and believe that He hears us. He will send deliverance, and sometimes God will use you to deliver someone else from oppression. We must follow His plans.
So we learn more about the prayer life of Moses.
● God always hears and cares about the people of God. He cares every day about you. When you face the power of oppression in your life, then start calling out to God.
● God used the burning bush to gain the attention of Moses. Moses began a special time in his life that day with Yahweh, the God of Israel. Moses listened to God explain His plan for breaking the power of Egypt over His people. God loves to lead us through our lives, as we listen to Him in prayer.
● Prayer means that God calls out to us, but often He has to get our attention before we will have a serious conversation with Him. For Moses, God called Moses to stand on holy ground, and Moses hid his face from God. God drew Moses into a personal relationship with Him, characterized by these close talks between them. This same prayer pattern would last throughout the lifetime of Moses.
Application for Today
Yahweh talked with Moses all the time. Imagine, the God of the Entire Universe speaking with one human at a time. God does not remain distant from His people, but near to them. He hears them, cares for them, and plans for them. He loves us every day. God sets events in our lives, like a burning bush, to gain our attention so that we will spend time, daily, talking with Him. He alone can solve our problems, deliver us from oppression, and draw us near to Himself. Moses turned aside to that burning bush, took off his sandals, and began a life of prayer that never stopped. He went to live with Yahweh forever. Will you draw near to the living God in prayer today and have a holy time with Him today, listening to God’s plans today?