Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
Exodus 3:1-10 NIV
The call of Moses was both a unique and dramatic experience. God appeared to him in a very unexpected and extraordinary way. Moses, like any of us was doing his own work and attending to his own responsibilities. He was doing what he was supposed to do. In the midst of his engagements, he saw a bush that was on fire. This wasn’t a sight out of the ordinary especially in such a wilderness. Bushes and grasses light up many times during the heat of the day. Only this time the fire wasn’t consuming the bush. So as Moses drew closer, God asked him to remove his shoes for he was on holy ground. God sometimes uses abnormal situations to draw us near to Him. Things that look out of the ordinary and make little or no sense. As Moses hearkened to the call of the Lord he realised that this wasn’t about him but about His people Israel. God’s call over our lives is never about ourselves. It is about God using us as vessels that carry the message of hope and deliverance to those around us. As ministers of God’s word, we are called to carry a gospel of hope to a hopeless world the same way Moses was called to carry a message of hope to the hopeless people of Israel who were held in captivity. God is calling on us just like the way He reached out to Moses. He’s beckoning us towards Him. He’s drawing us closer to Him. He might use extraordinary or normal situations to do so. But ultimately His desires are for us to act out of compassion towards His people. We’re just vessels to act on His behalf.
A unique thing with the call of Moses was he was around 80 years of age. He had departed from Egypt when he was 40 years of age and had spent another 40 years tending after the flock of his father in law. These seemed like 40 uneventful years. They looked like years when God seemed silent. However He still was at work. But the life of Moses also seems to show us that at times, God operates in seasons and not necessarily within human definitions of time. Moses’s life could be divided into the forty formative years in Egypt, the forty years of preparation in the desert and the last forty years of leadership. Leadership in God’s eyes is a call to serve. It’s a call which demands submission to Him as we lead others. These 40 years in the wilderness were strategic in preparing him for the task ahead. God allowed him to tend after livestock to prepare him to tend after His people. God had allowed his formative years to be in the household of Pharaoh in order for him to challenge his order. God never leads us to situations and circumstances for nothing. There’s always a lesson to pick, a word to hear or some skills or experiences to learn from.