He was minding his own business taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep.
It was a simple life. A good life. Though this culture was drastically different from the one he grew up in, he liked this one.
He was shy, not much of a speaker, in fact afraid to speak. And he had killed a man. That’s when he ran away and put himself into a “witness protection” of sorts where nobody knew him. I wonder if he often thought back to the plight of those enslaved and wished he could help. Or had he washed his hands clean of those people?
As he watched over the sheep, something caught his eye. A bush seemed to be burning–or there was a fire within it, but it was not consumed. As he investigated he heard a voice call his name. The God of “those” people enslaved in Egypt, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew his name. “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am,” replied the skinny shepherd.
Did he know the voice who knew him?
Not yet. But he would. The ancient voice warned the shepherd-man once a son of a pharoah . . .
“Do not come any closer, and take off your sandals, for the place you are standing is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5).
Now Moses knew who he was speaking to. And he was afraid of the holy God. Perhaps as he hid his face, he planted it on the ground. His father’s God had called him. Not Pharaoh’s, no the God of the people enslaved.
Moses’s life would never be the same. A calling experienced in the presence of a holy God who calls us to be holy too is like that. It changes you. It doesn’t make life all rainbows and bubbles, but it gives us purpose. Look at what Peter writes about holiness.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1: 13-15).
If we are commanded to be holy, we should understand the word. I know we think of holy as all pure and good, but there is more to the meaning.
The Greek word (because this is a NT scripture) is hagios. And in simplest terms, hagios means “set apart” or “consecrated.” And in the Bible all the things that were set apart and consecrated were used for service to God.” So, being holy is so much more than a ticket into heaven (through Jesus), but it comes with a calling to serve the living God. The God of Abraham and Isaac, and Jacob. The God of Andy, and Sandra, and Janice . . .the God who reveals himself to us everyday if we’re looking. He’s the God whose call may come from burning bushes or sunrises, or maybe (an more likely) just the quietest place in our hearts. And he says,
“Take off your shoes, you’re on Holy Ground.”
I invite us to fall on our knees and reply,
“Yes, Lord! Here I am.”
You are wholly holy for Kingdom building, legacy leaving, eternal purposes. If you don’t feel up to the task, neither did Moses.