Article: Shift In Focus | Blessen Samuel
“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.” Exodus 3:4
To start off, I am a second-year college student who at one time harboured a great passion to write but then put off that fire by waters of insecurity and inferiority and prejudice. And after so many months and maybe years, recently, I was kind of flared up to write again but when the opportunity came, I was almost resisting to pick up the call. I could not understand why I behaved like that and was in need of proper ‘Guidance’. That’s when I came across this Bible passage in Chapter 3 of the book of Exodus. Although I’ve came across this narration many a times before even to the point where the entire story is by heart to me, this time it was not just me reading it, the Word was calling me out, by my name.
And with much open mind I was looking onto this figure, an ex- Egyptian prince turned shepherd who is having a profound encounter that is going to change the course of history.
“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.” Exodus 3:1-2
Of course, he doesn’t know where he is being led by this peculiar sight, and before he realizes that he has moved into deep waters, he is already standing on holy ground. He witnesses a spectacular display of firework that he had not seen in his lifetime before.
“So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” Exodus 3:3
He sees that a bush is on fire but is not rendered to ashes as time passes and that makes him to get up, leave the place where he was standing and move closer to the burning bush. His focus took a shift from the flock of sheep he was looking after.
Till that time all his focus was the sheep of his father-in-law, looking for places where he could get better pasture for the herd. All of it comes to a standstill at this point. As if it was not enough with this shepherd trying his best to reason out what was happening, he is caught off guard when a voice calls him out. Out of the same fire that he sees. By his name.
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.” Exodus 3:4-5
Now, in an ordinary setting, things would have been just pretty simple. It would have been fairly normal for Moses see the dry vegetation on fire in this wilderness. What caught his attention was the fact that the outcome of burning is not what he expected otherwise.
He moves towards the burning bush to see why the entire scene doesn’t fits into his expectations.
Many a times rather than creating a whole new supernatural setup from the scratch. GOD uses the familiar situation in our life to draw our focus by removing the expected outcomes. And we become aware of him calling us out, when all our worldly expectations fail and calculations go wrong.
Going back a few years, like around 4 decades from this incident, Moses was someone with the knowledge and calibre to be the driving force of Egypt’s throne and maybe could have vouched for the Pharaoh’s seat by involving in some Game of thrones. Yet, when he ran away, leaving the people of Israel in crisis, for whom he once stood up, seldom would’ve he thought he would return to Egypt as GOD’s answer to the desperate cries that reached all the way to heaven.
And here he is, tending to the dumb sheep of his father-in-law. Over all these years of his exile in Midian, all that his eyes could look in the wilderness is pasture for his sheep. He got so engrossed in the entire sheep business that his eloquence has given way for stammer and his courage turned to cowardice. His focus was on things of earth as he always kept looking down. Isaiah 55: 8-9 says,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Due to the pandemic wreaking havoc in every aspect of our lives, I too was quite anxious about how our future and career is going to take a hit. I kept looking on to my problems rather than fully trusting on the sovereignty of GOD. A series of conversations with a few friends made me turn to the Bible.
All of a sudden, he takes away my focus from the uncertainty over university exams and academic future to look into the scriptures only to find reassurance of his sovereignty at all times and in every season of my life.
Even in the wake of our negative expectations, he will lead us through outcomes no one has seen before.
Once I was walking through our hostel corridors at night. The lights had just been turned off. Just then a friend called me out for some help and I was caught unaware and frightened by the sudden call. Imagine the mixture of surprise, fear and anxiety in his response when Moses was called by his name all of a sudden. This is the point of no return for Moses.
Till a few moments back, it might have seemed as if he was being led nowhere and all of this was a strange coincidence. But now, it becomes clear.
He has been called to respond to the crisis of people who are far from him.
To free them from chains of doubts and fear. To give them hope. With strength received from GOD.
We never know how and when and for which crisis, we are called for. But when it comes, let us respond to it with full faith in Jesus, being deeply rooted in the scriptures and unwavering even in the face of waves, waters, walls, weapons and war ahead of us which are yet unseen.
If GOD his called us, he will lead us in his ways of goodness. (Ps 23:3) And where he guides, he provides. (Isa 58:11). We just need to be still and know that he is GOD (Ps 46:10)
To be continued….