What Does Exodus 3:4 Mean?

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."

Exodus 3:4(NASB)

Verse of the Day

God had His hand on Moses from birth, for God was to use this man to save His people from 400 years of Egyptian slavery. He was also the man through whom God would make a covenant with His people, Israel. Moses was born into the priestly family of Levi, but he was raised in the royal palace of the Egyptian Pharoah. In the book of Acts, we read that Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in word and deed.

Moses needed stamina and sagacity to bring the children of Israel across the Red Sea and lead God's murmuring and disobedient people through 40 difficult years in the wilderness. But he also needed to place his trust in the Lord's promises and not in his own merit and abilities. And so God spent 80 years preparing His servant for the role for which he had been called. For the first 40 years of his life, the Lord used Moses' privileged position in the royal household to prepare him for the onerous task of challenging the bureaucracy of Egypt and becoming God's spokesperson before Pharoah. 

And then, Moses needed to spend a further 40 years of preparation in the Desert of Midian so he could learn to set aside his confidence in himself. Moses needed to die to his self-confidence so that his trust would be in God alone. God not only had to get Moses out of Egypt, but time was needed to get the influence of Egypt out of Moses! God took a long time to prepare this man for a task of which he was totally ignorant.

Finally, the time came for Moses to be commissioned by God for His monumental task, and the Lord used a burning bush to grab his attention. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire within a bush. When he saw that the bush was not consumed by the flames, Moses turned his attention to it. He knew he must go over and look at this remarkable sight, to find out why the bush was not burning up. However, it is interesting to note that it was only when God gained his attention that the Lord spoke to Moses, revealed Himself to His servant, and gave him his instructions.

It was when Moses turned aside to look and this remarkable sight that, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." What an astonishing way for God to gain the attention of His 80-year-old servant. There are a number of occasions when God called the name of servants twice; Samuel, Saul, Simon, Martha, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And here in Exodus, it was Moses whose name was called by God, two times.

God knows every one of His servants by name, and although Moses had been caring for a little flock of sheep for forty years, in an obscure desert far from his place of birth, God knew who he was and called him by name. And Moses replied, "Here I am." God was going to use this man to rescue His people from four centuries of cruel, Egyptian slavery, but He waited until Moses was properly prepared to fulfil the task to which he was being summoned.

The Israelites had waited a long time for God to rescue them, and Moses needed eighty years of preparation. But at God's perfect time and in His perfect way God spoke to His servant and presented him with the mission of a lifetime.

God does not call all of us in the same way, and He sometimes sends us in a direction we would prefer not to travel. However, God will prepare us for the work He wants us to do, and He equips us for our calling (which may be unrelated to our expectations or wishes). And although there may be times when we disobey Him or follow our own whims and wills, He will direct us in the way we are to go if we will but listen to His voice, respond to His call, and work the work that He has prepared for us to do, in His power and for His greater glory.

My Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that my ears may be open to Your call and my heart ready to obey Your voice and follow Your calling on my life. I pray that no matter what circumstances I may have to face in life, that I may be ready and willing to work the work of God that You have prepared for me. I also pray that no matter how long I have to wait, I have the assurance that You are daily preparing me for the task ahead. Help me to die to my own self-will and live for Christ alone so that You are enabled to work through me for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name AMEN.

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