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Thursday, September 12 2013

Exodus 3: The Sign Of The Flaming Bush

"The angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush"

The Sinai Peninsula is a vast (about 60,000 square kilometers / 23,000 square miles) triangular-shaped peninsula (see the satellite photograph below) that in the time of Moses was outside of the boundaries of Egypt (hence the reason that Moses fled there). The Sinai is the western part of Arabia (see Paul's Geography Lesson) that serves, because of its dry and hostile climate and terrain, as the gateway between Africa and Asia.

Moses settled with a Midianite family (see Moses And Zipporah) after he left Egypt (see Exodus 2: The Drawing Of Moses). He lived the life of a bedouin shepherd, until one day the LORD appeared to him at Mount Sinai "in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush."

Sinai Shepherds

"3:1 Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.

3:2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3:3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt." (Exodus 3:1-3 KJV)

The miraculous "burning bush" is one of the most famous events of Bible history. The beacon however was used only to draw Moses (the name Moses means to draw; see Exodus 2: The Drawing Of Moses) to the Word of God, Who was and is the LORD (see the Fact Finder question below).

"3:4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.

And he said, Here am I.

3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.

And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:4-6 KJV)

Four centuries earlier, the LORD had commanded Jacob / Israel to take his family to sojourn in Egypt (see Exodus 1: I Will There Make Of Thee A Great Nation). The LORD's decision to have the Israelites go to Egypt, where they would remain for those four centuries before being liberated from a situation that was far different than their entry was made long before that, as proclaimed to Abraham before Jacob was born (see The Exodus Prophecy).

"3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:7-10 KJV)

Despite his upbringng in the Pharaoh's palace (see The Israelites Of The Pharaoh's Palace), Moses was and remained an unassuming man. He asked, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" The answer was Moses' mandate: "I will be with thee."

The Sinai Peninsula

"3:11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." (Exodus 3:11-15 KJV)

The LORD then gave Moses his instructions, and a prophecy that the Pharaoh wasn't going to be cooperative, until the full measure of the LORD's wrath that the Pharaoh brought upon himself had been delivered: "I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand."

"3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 3:17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

3:18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 3:19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 3:20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.

3:21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians." (Exodus 3:16-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why is the term "the LORD God" used throughout Bible history and prophecy while Jesus Christ used only the term "God" for the Father? Who was and is "the LORD God" Who spoke to Moses?
See 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 ("that Rock was Christ"), Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God; see also The Forerunner Of Man and Of God


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This Day In History, September 12

490 BC: The Battle of Marathon. Athenians defeated the second Persian invasion of Greece at the Greek town of Marathon (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia and A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).

Persian Infantry 1309: The First Siege of Gibraltar began during the Spanish Reconquista; the forces of the Kingdom of Castile against the Emirate of Granada produced a Castilian victory.

1609: English explorer Henry Hudson, while employed by the Netherlands, discovered a river in eastern North America that would later be named after him - the Hudson River. New York City was originally named New Amsterdam by its Dutch founders.

1683: Austrian and Polish forces took Vienna, Austria, back from the Ottomans after the Battle of Kahlenberg (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1683: Vienna was retaken from the Ottomans.

1722: The Treaty of St. Petersburg ended the Russo-Persian War.

1758: French astronomer Charles Messier began his Messier Catalog of deep-sky objects with the Crab Nebula - the remnants of a supernova explosion that was first observed by Chinese astronomers in 1054.

1848: Switzerland adopted a new constitution under which it became a federal republic.

1878: The obelisk known as Cleopatra's Needle, originally cut from the quarries of Aswan in about 1475 B.C., was erected in London (see also The Cleopatra Connection).

1914: During the First World War (1914-1918), the First Battle of the Aisne in France began. It lasted 17 days. British and French forces battled the Germans to a stalemate; static trench warfare set in on the Aisne and lasted for the next 18 months (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).

1934: The Baltic Entente, a mutual defense pact by Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, was signed. Intended primarily against Nazi Germany which had replaced the Soviet Union as the greatest (perceived) threat against them.

1938: Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany annexed Czech Sudetenland.

1962: In a lead-up to the political face-saving "Cuban Missile Crisis" (after the failed CIA "Bay of Pigs" attempted invasion of Cuba), U.S. President Kennedy held a news conference and announced that the U.S. would not tolerate any Soviet base in the western hemisphere (while at the same time the U.S. itself had dozens of offensive bases in the eastern hemisphere, some right on the Russian border, as is still the case today). Militarily, Russian missiles in Cuba actually would have been no greater threat to the U.S. than long-range ballistic missiles launched from Russia (which to this day cannot be stopped - no effective defense has yet been developed that is capable of stopping ballistic missiles) or from missiles and cruise missiles launched by Russian submarines positioned near the U.S. east and west coasts, much closer than Cuba, as is still the case today.

1988: Hurricane Gilbert inflicted heavy damage on Jamaica before turning toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula where it caused an estimated $5 billion in damage.

1972: Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, sent a cable to the United Nations Secretary General to announce that since no statue of Hitler had been erected in Germany, he proposed to set one up in Uganda.

1974: Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was deposed by a military coup, ending a reign of 58 years.

1990: Agreements were signed by Britain, the U.S., France, Russia, and East and West Germany that permitted the re-unification of Germany - a key event in European history, and Bible prophecy (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

2003: In Fallujah, US forces shot and killed eight Iraqi police officers in a "friendly fire" incident. Over the course of the first ten years of the conflict that began when George W. Bush ordered the invasion, over 1 million Iraqi people were killed, wounded or maimed, while the country was reduced to rubble and chaos. Bush's justification for the destruction, Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," were never found, and were later declared to have never existed. Despite a persistent myth, Iraq also had no connection to the 9-11 terrorist attacks; captured documents proved that Saddam Hussein actually viewed Al-Qaeda, the terrorist Muslim organization founded by Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, as a threat to Iraq.


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