“He looked and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.” – Exodus 3:2
Scripture reading: Exodus 3:1-10
The fiery bush speaks to the holiness of God, but also to the mercy of God. For Moses’ sake and for our sake in Christ, we can be exceedingly glad for this. God is holy and we are not, yet we are not consumed. We can see ourselves in the burning-bush event as unconsumed, celebrating God’s mercy to us through faith in Christ.
What made the bush unusual was not that it was burning, but that it was burning and not being consumed. Scripture does indeed speak of God as a consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29), but here the fire does not consume. When you think about what Israel and Moses had been enduring, such a bush is a fitting sight. Israel was God’s chosen people, treated differently than other nations so as not to be consumed like other nations, but not because of anything deserving about her.
Such a non-consumption is how it is for God’s covenant people, both in the Old Testament days and now in the New Testament days. Hebrews 12 says that kingdoms of the world will not last, but the kingdom of Christ, to which we belong through faith and grace, will not be consumed because of the grace of God and the righteousness of Christ. This is the joy of the gospel, for before the holy face of God, we all deserve to be consumed, but by the wondrous mercy of God through the crucified Christ we can confess that we are not.
Suggestions for prayer
Give thanks to the Lord for the marvellous mercies of God, who consumed your sins in Christ so that you need not be consumed. Pray for an ever-increasing devotion to serve your Saviour well, given the marvels of His grace.
Rev. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.