Here I am – hineni
Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight.” – Exodus 3:3
2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.
3 “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.”
4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.
5 “Do Not come any closer,” the LORD warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground.
6 I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God.
For millennia, human civilizations across the world have created cities, palaces, monuments, tombs, temples, churches, mosques, and other structures that inspire awe. The amazing works of art and architecture known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World serve as a testament to the ingenuity, imagination, dedication, and sheer hard work which people can achieve.
They are inspiring and often take our breath away. They draw us in by their sheer majesty and uniqueness. Consider the following: Taj Mahal, India; Colosseum, Italy;
Chichen Itza, Mexico; Machu Picchu, Peru; Christ the Redeemer, Brazil; Petra, Jordan; Great Wall of China, China.
How do people draw close to the Father? The Father’s assessment of humanity is pretty grim. Some people may strongly disagree. Yet His assessment is accurate, yet grievous.
2 The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise if anyone seeks God.
3 But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, Not a single one!
Knowing the condition of the human race, the Father seeks us. He is the ultimate seeker.
Luke 19:10 the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
The Father frequently uses awe-inspiring means to get our attention and draw us closer to Him. As a result, we turn to Him, we embrace and begin a dance with the eternal.
REFLECT & PRAY
“God can take an insignificant bush, ignite it, and turn it into a miracle; and that’s what He wanted to do with Moses” (Wiersbe). The Father desires to do the same with each child of the King no matter how small and inconsequential we see ourselves.
Father thank You for seeking me out getting me to turn towards You.
The Father often uses miraculous interventions in the natural world: violent storms, whirlwinds, plagues and pestilence, the opening of the Red Sea, the burning bush, and ultimately the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He draws and beckons us. He engages our curiosity and interest. We are often fascinated and strangely attracted. Marvelously, we turn and seek Him.
13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.
The story of the burning bush is well known. Yet many details are often overlooked. There was much more than a burning bush that got Moses’ attention. The angel of the Lord was present. He was the source of fire that did not consume the bush. He was the one who spoke to Moses from the midst of the burning bush. The bush itself did not say a word to Moses. Bushes are not known for their great oratory.
Exodus 3:2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up.
It was because of the seeming violation of nature that Moses observed that he was drawn to come closer. The Father initiated; Moses responded.
Exodus 3:3 Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight.”
Moses is the perfect prototype for each child of the King. The Father initiates contact, we respond.
Exodus 3:4 When the LORD saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied.
The repetition of Moses’ name has special significance. “In ancient Semitic culture, addressing someone by saying his or her name twice was a way of expressing endearment, that is, affection and friendship. Thus Moses would have understood immediately that he was being addressed by someone who loved him and was concerned about him” (Stuart).
Moses’ words are few, but they speak volumes: “Here I am!” In fact in Hebrew, there is only one word hineni which literally means I am here. On one Level, Moses is simply saying “yes.” But a simple yes can often be pregnant with meaning. This is particularly true when the one who is calling is the Father God. Perhaps, Moses is not merely saying, “Present and accounted for,” but “What would you have your servant do?” The Father was not merely calling out to Moses, the Father was calling Moses into His service. Moses was to become the leader of Israel to bring them out of slavery in Egypt. Perhaps hineni is like the response of the Cylons robot troops from the 1970s TV series battleship Galactica: “By Your Command.”
Contrary to his depiction by Hollywood, when Moses was at Sinai he was no Charleston Heston. He was very insecure. He had self-image issues and had some kind of speech impediment (Exodus 4:10). Moses was not being modest, he was frightened and unprepared for the great task that the Father was assigning to him.
“What Moses thought of himself, or what others thought of Moses, really wasn’t important. God had spoken and that was all Moses needed for assurance that he was the right man for the job” (Wiersbe).
Exodus 3:11 Moses said to God, “Who am I . . ..”
The Father’s response should give confidence to every child of the King down through the millennia.
Exodus 3:12 God answered, “I will be with you.”
“‘I will be with you’ is all the assurance God’s servants need in order to succeed” (Wiersbe).