Dave Burnette's Commentary

Exodus Chapter 3

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Deliverance of Israel (c 1-40)
Theme: Israel in Egypt (c 1-12)
Message: The Burning Bush (v 1-22)

Exodus 3 Commentary

(3:1) Moses' New Lifestyle - What a contrast between Moses' life as an Egyptian prince and his life as a Midianite shepherd! As a prince he had everything done for him; he was the famous son of an Egyptian princess. As a shepherd he had to do everything for himself; he was holding the very job he had been taught to despise (Genesis 43:32; 46'33-34), and he lived as an unknown foreigner. What a humbling experience this must have been for Moses! But God was preparing him for leadership. Living the life of a shepherd and nomad, Moses learned about the ways of the people he would be leading and also about life in the wilderness. God was getting him ready to free Israel from Pharaoh's grasp.

(3:1) The Mountain of God -  Mount Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai, the place where God would give the people his revealed law, known today as the Ten Commandments (3:12; 19:1-20:21). By calling it "the mountain of God," the text looks ahead to that time

(3:2-4) Moses and the Burning Bush -  Moses saw a burning bush and spoke with God. Many people in the Bible experienced God in visible (though not necessarily human) form. Abraham saw the smoking furnace and buminy lamp (Genesis 15:17); Jacob wrestled with a man (Genesis 32:24-20). Later, when the slaves were freed from Egypt, God would lead them by pillars of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21-(22). God made such appearances to protect and encourage his new nation, to guide them, and to prove the reliability of his verbal message.

(3:2-3) God Speaks to Moses -  God spoke to Moses from an unexpected source: a burning bush. When Moses saw it, he went to investigate. God may use unexpected sources when communicating to us, too, whether people, thoughts, or experiences. Be willing to investigate, and be open to God's surprises.

(3:5-6) Moses Approaches God - At God's command, Moses removes his shoes. He also covered his face. Taking off his shoes was an act of reverence, conveying his own unworthiness before God. God is our friend, but he is also our sovereign Lord. To approach him frivolously shows a lack of respect and sincerity. When you come to God in worship, do you approach him casually, or do you come as though you were an invited guest before a king? If necessary, adjust your attitude so it is suitable for approaching a holy God.

(3:9-8) The Promised Land - This land flowing with milk and honey: is the land of Israel and Jordan today. This is a poetic word picture expressing the beauty and productivity of the Promised Land.

(3:10-4:17) Moses Feels Inadequate -  Moses made excuses because he felt inadequate for the job God asked him to do. It was natural for him to feel that way. He was inadequate all by himself. But God wasn't asking Moses to work alone. He offered other resources to help (God himself, Aaron, and the ability to do miracles). When God calls us to tasks that seem too difficult, he doesn't ask us to do them alone. God offers us his resources, just as he did to Moses. We should not hide behind our inadequacies, as Moses tried to do, but look beyond ourselves to the great resources available. Then we can allow God to use our unique contributions.

(3:13-15) God is the "I AM" - The Egyptians had many gods by many different names. Moses wanted to know God's name so the Hebrew people would know exactly who had sent him to them. God called himself I AM, a name describing his eternal power and unchangeable character. In a world where values, morals, and laws change constantly, we can find stability and security in our unchanging God. The God who appeared to Moses is the same God who can live in us today. Hebrews 13:8 says that God is the same "yesterday, and today, and forever." Because God's nature is stable and trustworthy, we are free to follow and enjoy him. We can count on him to guide us no matter how much our culture or circumstances change.

(3:14-15) One God with Several Names - The divine name, Jehovah or Yahweh (often represented as "the LORD"), is derived from the Hebrew word for "I am." God reminded Moses of his covenant promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:1=3; 15; 17), Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5), and Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15), and he used the name I AM to show his unchanging nature. What God promised to the great patriarchs hundreds of years earlier he would fulfill through Moses. His wisdom spans the ages, and his promises give meaning and direction to our lives.

(3:16-17) God Tells Moses to Share His Words - God told Moses to tell the people what he had seen and heard at the burning bush. Our God is a God who acts and speaks. One of the most convincing ways to tell others about him is to describe what he has done and how he has spoken to his people. If you are trying to explain God to others, talk about what he has done for you, for people you know, or for people whose stories are told in the Bible.

(3:18-20) God is Omniscient - The leaders of Israel would accept God's message, and the leader of Egypt would reject it. God knew what both reactions would be before they happened. This is more than good psychology--God knows the future. Every believer can trust his or her future to God because he already knows what is going to happen.

(3:22) The Egyptians want the Israelites to Go - The jewelry and clothing would not merely be borrowed--they would be asked for and eagerly given. The Egyptians would be so glad to see the Israelites go that they would send them out with gifts. These items would be used later in building the tabernacle (35;5, 22). The promise of being able to strip the Egyptians of their wealth seemed impossible to Moses at this time.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

God Speaks to You 

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Exodus with Chapter 3 and in today's text we see the life of Moses unveil before us. Many applications can be made from each days text but what catches my eye is the burning bush and how God spoke to Moses giving him specific instructions on His plan for Moses' life. This story reminds me how God cares for us and has direction for us. Not only direction but God tells us what to do and equips us to do it. God call Moses to be a spokesman, even though he had a speech problem, and God calls us to do items even though we think we can't do these tasks. I believe He does this to show you that He is doing the task in and through you. I have seen this personally in my life as God has equipped me in ministry to do tasks that I could not do in my flesh to show me that He did the tasks through me. How about you? Did you know that God speaks to you? If so, do you respond based on how you think you can accomplish what God has instructed, or do you follow the example of Moses and simply have faith that God will equip you? You can trust the Lord. 


Exodus 3

Exodus 3

 1Now 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.

 2And 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.

 3And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.

 4And 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.

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

 6Moreover 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.

 7And 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;

 8And 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.

 9Now 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.

 10Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

 11And 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?

 12And 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.

 13And 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?

 14And 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.

 15And 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.

 16Go, 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:

 17And 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.

 18And 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.

 19And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

 20And 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.

 21And 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.

 22But 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.