Introduction Nico Bosman
What a wonderful Sunday morning when we can gather to listen to what the Lord has for us. It is a privilege. We can thank the Lord for what He is doing and how the work is continuing. A person can become used to things, but if one looks around at how things are going, the Lord is with us and we praise the Lord for it. Welcome to everyone.
Today I would like to speak about a mother and a son and our Saviour, and His work of redemption.
Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.3 And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” Exodus 3:1 – 3
Moses had committed a crime and had fled for his life. But the Lord had a plan. Even if you have sinned, God can be merciful, save you and still perform His eternal will through your life. Moses came to Horeb, the mountain of God. Maybe God led his footsteps or led the sheep to walk towards that mount. The Angel of the Lord appeared to him there in a flame of fire. Moses looked but it was not just a glance. Something that he saw, attracted him to this fire because it was different to other fires. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight…” Some people can be at Horeb or wish to be there, maybe they ask the Lord to lead them to God’s mountain but their eyes do not see the fire. Your eyes may see the fire but you remain untouched.
This was no light matter for Moses, he did not overlook it. God’s work was such a great wonder for him that he left his own way and turned aside to look. Then God spoke to him. Moses acknowledged that this event was something great. It may have been insignificant for others but for Moses it was a great sight, a great appearance, a great revelation.
Friend, do you want to see the great things which God is trying to show you? Not only the things that He is trying to show the preacher or your counsellor. You must have eyes to see what God is doing. God says if we are faithful in the small things He will entrust us with greater things. Why do you say I am poor, why does God not speak to me? Why does God not show me things? Why don’t I have visions? That which is great to God, is small to you. God’s things are not of great importance to you. You do not have the eye to perceive that this is a great vision. This is an appearance from heaven. Moses turned aside. You need to turn aside from your way – even if you are at Horeb.
23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. John 12:23, 27 – 31
27Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]. John 12:27 (AMCP)
You can be part of the crowd, a bystander or even close to Jesus. These people were close. They heard things. They questioned the things that Jesus was doing. 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Jesus’s coming to this earth was for our sake – mine and yours.
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. Sentence is being passed on this world. The ruler, the prince of this world, shall be cast out. Is that not a glorious triumph for our lives that the evil genius of this world will be cast out? The victory is ours because of Jesus. You can be free and saved because it has been done on Calvary. The evil genius in the Garden of Eden destroyed the life of Adam and Eve. The good that God had created was destroyed by the ruler of this world. You no longer need to be troubled, oppressed, depressed and in bondage. The prince of this world is expelled. What Satan spoiled at the beginning of creation, Christ, the second Adam, has expelled. He has passed sentence on this evil prince of this world.
But a few verses later, Jesus warns them to …walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. John 12:35 Lest, even though He does so many miracles right before your eyes, you still do not trust in Him and fail to believe on Him.
37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” John 12:37-40
May the Lord be merciful that the prophecy of Isaiah will not be fulfilled in our lives. You can pray now and ask God to open your eyes so that you may see the things that God is showing you. Forget about praying about all your likes and dislikes, this is the greatest need that you have – that your eyes may be opened to see the fire in the bush. If you want to hear God’s voice – look, open your eyes and see what God is showing you. Leave your way and you will be amazed at what God will say to you. You will be amazed to hear His voice.
Where did Moses come from? Why was he here at the mount of God? Moses was born in Egypt, not Canaan. There his mother saw that he was exceedingly beautiful. There are few mothers who regard their child as ugly. Moses’s mother saw the beauty that God wanted her to see so that the life of Moses should be preserved.
All boys that were born in that era ought to have had their necks wrung at birth but God placed something in this mother’s heart and she felt a need to preserve this precious child. May God instil in our mothers this concern for the living soul that has been entrusted by the Lord Jesus into your care. Are you aware that the prince of this world is prowling around like a roaring lion and will one day seek to devour this beautiful child that you have at birth? The prince of this world will do his utmost to ensure that this child will not experience the victory of Christ.
She hid him for three months. She could not speak to anyone about this child. She could not express her joy about this gift that had been entrusted to her. 3 When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes[a] and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. Exodus 2:3
Did she know about Noah and Noah’s ark? Who told her to daub the basket with bitumen and pitch? Ages ago Noah, the man who found favour in God’s eyes, was instructed by God to daub the ark with bitumen and pitch. She hid the basket in the bulrushes. What if the flood would come and sweep this basket away with her baby? There are wonderful secrets that are found in God’s word. The way in which the life of Moses was saved reminds us of the Christ child. The word came to Joseph by night to take the child and His mother and flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to destroy His life. Joseph had the right thoughts, guided by the Lord God. Get up at night. Go where to? Which road? Should I laugh or cry? Should I greet people on the way? Should I dress smartly or in sackcloth? Should we walk by night and hide during the day? It is wonderful to walk with the Lord and be controlled by Him. Do you desire anything else? Are you in or out of the realm of Christ?
You can pray and ask the Lord that His sights will be great in your eyes. Joseph and Mary endured all the discomforts, agony and pain. They put them aside for the sake of the Christ child. Are you prepared to put aside all your aches and pain, suffering and agonising, and say, “Lord, Your will be done?” Joseph fulfilled the prophecy and he walked God’s way down to Egypt. Today we say, “What a man, Joseph! What a lady, Mary!” Will people one day praise you for the influence, for the life, for the salvation that God wrought through you in your family and amongst your people. That you were a willing instrument in the hands of Jesus? What will it be like if at the end of your life you must confess that you have failed, as the greatest deniers of our faith in past generations have uttered when they died in the darkness of their own understanding and the prince of this world? Will you be one of those of which the prophet Micah said, 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan… Micah 4:12 We can be intellectuals and know exactly what the Bible says and what the Bible does not say but we miss out on the thoughts of the Lord and cannot understand His plans. If you miss out, if you do not see what God is trying to show you, you will be pitied and I don’t know who will open your eyes. You will quote texts but they will be used to kill the consciences of your readers and hearers. You can use the word of God and kill people even though you are using the word of God, because the letter kills and you can apply it incorrectly. For the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens. 2 Cor 3:6 You need to be enlightened by the Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth and keep the whole Bible, not only parts, and the Spirit of God will lead you into the truth in which you should abide. When the devil tempted Jesus, He used scripture and said for it is written… If you apply a verse of God or a verse of Scripture incorrectly – for your own benefit, support or justification, you misuse God’s word. Just like young men who woo girls and quote Ask and it will be given you. Matt 7:7 Watch out that you will not be called an adulterer and a fornicator in heaven because you apply God’s word wrongly. You may call out “Peace, peace” and it is not a time of peace or “War, war” and it is not a time of war.
Look at the burning bush. Are you so blind that you cannot see it? Then you will not be a Moses, you will not be as God to your brother. And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. Exodus 7:1 You will not be a help to your brother. You will not speak God’s word to your brother, instead you will harden him, and kill his spiritual life.
Friends, it is grace to see the fire of God and the bush that is not consumed. It is grace that you forsake your way, veer off, take an exit and approach that fire of God and hear God speak and God is able to mill your ways, thoughts and reckoning. God was angry at it the unwillingness of Moses and He reprimanded him because he wanted to do things his way. The person who has a task to perform knows what it is to be in God’s mill. He also knows God’s anger. He hears His voice and fears Him.
Children, you have heard about baby Moses who submitted under the care of his mother whose blessed hands carried and embraced him. Jesus has got hands far better than those of your mother. You may despise the hands of your mother but do not despise the hands and the care of your Saviour, Jesus. He is your Saviour. You have come to this service to see Jesus, to open your life to Him and say, “Jesus, I am a wretched man in a strange country. I am not part of your chosen people but care for me, I am lost.”
Have you ever been to someone and asked them to pray for you because you find that when you attend a service you hear nothing? You have no love. Everything is a drag. Your only desire is money and a good car and if one day you can drive around with one hand on the steering wheel and watch the passers-by, it would be far better than what you hear in the service. Go to someone and say, “This is who I am.” Then Jesus can shine His light into that part and you will see whether Jesus will not open your eyes. Why don’t you want to come? You have always been welcomed. You have always been told to see what Jesus has in store for you so that at the end of your life you will not say that it was all in vain. If the Lord is not here with us this is all in vain. Ask the Lord to open your eyes. When you return home ask Jesus to open your eyes. When you go to school, ask Jesus to open your eyes. At break time with your friends, ask Jesus to open your eyes. You don’t have to kneel, you don’t have to close your eyes, just in your heart say, “Jesus, open my eyes.” When you go to the shop, ask Jesus to open your eyes. When the devil comes with thoughts, ask Jesus to open your eyes. When you see a handsome boy, cry to Jesus to open your eyes. When you meditate about your future, ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what He is trying to show you.
May the Lord Jesus be merciful to me and you.
Conclusion Nico Bosman
What wonderful words. It was the fact that the bush was not burnt up that caught the eye of Moses. It was not the fire that caught his eye but he saw something deeper. He saw that the fire was different. There was something else that he had not seen before. It is easy to just see the fire and see the worst. When a sermon is preached, we say, ‘There he goes again, he just preaches at me’. When I am reprimanded I just see the fire, the destruction. But the Lord can open our eyes to see deeper and see the life that this fire brings. This fire does not destroy.
When someone tries to help you and points out something your child has done amiss, it is easy to just see the fire. It is so easy to focus on this life which will come to an end. If we focus on eternity, God can open our eyes through His grace to see further than the fire and realise that this fire is different and the Lord can speak to us through that fire. May our desire be to see things the Lord’s way so that in every circumstance that comes our way we see God in it and experience the life that the Lord wants for us so that nations can be saved. The nation was led out of bondage through Moses. May the Lord help us and through His grace continue to open our eyes and speak to us.