The Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt began with fire. Egypt was a dark place—a land of oppression and slavery—a place of no seeming hope. But into this darkness Yahweh came as fire to Moses (Exo. 3:1-4:17).
Yahweh chose to dwell as fire in a bush. Moses was surprised at this sight; the bush should have been consumed, but it wasn’t. Why did God use this particular sign? Why didn’t he show himself to Moses in a different way?
Jesus Christ is the mystery of the fire dwelling in the bush. The fire represents God’s glory. The bush represents that which is frail and easily consumed—it is like human flesh. God chose to dwell in the bush to teach us that the miracle of incarnation is only possible with him. Yes, the glory of God should disintegrate flesh, yet God is able to tabernacle in flesh and not cause it to go up in smoke. Again John said, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Let’s recognize the utter impossibility of this, but on the other hand, let’s grasp how the impossible is made possible with God.
It was out of this bush that the Word of the Lord came (Exo. 3:4-5). It was out of a dry desert that God said to Moses, “Let there be light.” This Word brought hope and it also brought separation. The penultimate Egyptian plague distinctly showed God’s creative work of separating light from darkness. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or leave his place for three days. Yet all Israelites had light in the places where they lived” (Exo. 10:21-23).
The way God delivered the Israelites is the way God delivers us today. It will also be the same way he will deliver us before the Lord’s second coming. As I read the Exodus story I am reminded of Malachi’s prophetic words: “‘They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not’” (Mal. 3:17-18). The Lord loves to separate the light from the darkness. He did it with Israel, he does it with us and in the end he will separate the wheat from the chaff. Let’s make sure we are walking in his light.
Prayer: Lord, you have always been separating the light from the darkness. I acknowledge your ways. Enable me to walk in the light as you are in the light. May your people also be a holy people, walking in your light.