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Christian Biblical Studies
THE BURNING BUSH
Scripture references are to the King James (Authorised) Bible
ʻPut off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.ʼ
Exodus 3: 5
REVERENCE IS THE most important attitude in our approach to God. It is a solemn and holy awe, often rendered fear in the King James Bible because at its root it shares something in common with that emotion. A respectful trembling in the presence of the Almighty is entirely appropriate.
Scripture tells us that Reverence stands at the head of Wisdom (Psalm 111: 10). Without it no one can approach the Throne. It readies both mind and heart for Divine knowledge and ratchets down our own sense of importance.
Even Moses, the meekest man on earth (Num. 12: 3), had to be told to remove his sandals. Whether he would have done so without prompting we cannot know. Nonetheless, the phenomenon which had drawn him from his tasks was sufficiently unusual to excite his curiosity.
In former times, when the rising and setting of the sun and the moon governed the daily round, and scents of the earth and the fireside hearth rooted man in the practicalities and natural rhythm of life, a bush that burned of its own accord naturally merited more than a passing glance. And this one even spoke.
Being of humble disposition and possessed of a mind ready to honour the God of Israel, Moses needed only a little persuasion to recognise the manifestation as a revelation from God. The experience no doubt profoundly changed him, inspiring him until his death at an advanced age.
Bushes Burning Brightly
In the limitless vastness of Space and in the tiniest hidden nooks and crannies of Earth there are phenomena which defy explanation in their jaw-dropping complexity. Figurative bushes burn everywhere. And they still attract attention and Man turns aside to have a look.
But now the shoes stay firmly on . . .
And the worldly-wise with their jaded eyes look but they do not see.
With ingenious instruments the secular mind attempts to penetrate the mysteries, but is not prepared to linger for answers other than his own.
Informational data tumble from space, well up from deep oceans, and thread their way through the DNA, but the Makerʼs Voice is no longer heard amid the cacophony of self-praise and the back-slapping which accompanies new discoveries or when the science prizes are handed out.
The metaphorical bush still burns, but there is no Moses to see God in it. For now it bursts into flame unbidden, spontaneously, accidentally a natural, if temporarily puzzling, extension of the laws of Physics.
There is no invisible Hand, except that of Evolution. There is no tentative, head-bowed-shuffling-feet approach toward the Almighty, no meek petition for wisdom and understanding, or an appreciative acknowledgement of the Designer Mind.
In short, there is no longer any holy ground.
Looking and Listening
For the Christian, the Bible is the bush that blazes with a bright and godly flame. A wayfarer, the humble sinner is drawn from the dry and dusty path of care to a hallowed zone in which Faith and Forgiveness illuminate shadowy doubts, and where God speaks comfort and consolation and courage and a Saviour, who died and rose for our justification.
Confronted with Omnipotence we learn just how little we really are. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is who He says he is the great I AM and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Heb. 11: 6). Having received the message of deliverance, the Christian gratefully takes on the mission, Moses-like, to preach it to others who remain enslaved to Sin.
To the believer, all things celestial and terrestrial are proclamations of the mighty and eternal purposes of God. To the unseeing eye they are but the evidence of blind chance, majesty without meaning, grandeur devoid of gratitude, a metaphysical cul-de-sac. Eager to be unburdened with the responsibility of acknowledging the Maker of these marvellous things the secular mind takes refuge in paltry self-congratulation, persuading itself that to describe the process is to own it.
True Reverence for God puts mankind in perspective. It informs civic behaviour and is the only foundation for relationships between people and nations. Without it, a general despising of authority is bound to follow and a bad-tempered and noisy collapse of Society.
The trend is well under way.
Copyright July 2013 ukbiblestudents.com
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