Exodus 3 Commentary
At the mountain of God, Horeb, the LORD appears to Moses. This appearance is very strange and very unlike the appearances experienced by the patriarchs. But that is what it is. The LORD is trying to find His way to His own children. This story is very significant as we see the LORD taking the first step in reaching out to man. The LORD introduces Himself as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We have the Abrahamic blessing in mind as we reflect on this introduction. The LORD is drawing Moses to appreciate the El-Shaddai God who actively worked with and through his fathers.
The instruction ‘not to go near’ is interesting. The LORD wants His children close to Himself but the children are dirty. So the interaction does take place but from a distance. This is not the way the LORD interacted with Moses’ fathers!
Moses is commissioned to go and get Israel out of Egypt. Destination? Canaan. It is currently occupied by others. The land flows with milk and honey. Milk and honey is the LORD’S way of describing economic potential (milk) and providential potential (honey).
It really should be simple but Moses doesn’t just get it. Who is he to confront Pharaoh and the elders of Israel? He is just some guy without a name, status or position. This will not definitely work! This is just how far Israel is removed from her God. The LORD has to introduce Himself and explain His CV. And this is not just with the common man but also the leaders, and importantly Moses himself. It is a low point.
Importantly, the LORD tells Moses the end result of the operation: ‘you will worship God on this mountain’. I guess this should be the purpose as well as the yardstick for the mission; the worship of the LORD. It is about restoration.
Then the LORD gives Moses the road map as seen from the top, in time. The timeline sees Israel leaving Egypt with plunder. But Moses thinks the LORD is too fast. So we have chapter 4 for Moses’ reaction to the job offer and the road map.
More resources visit http://www.bibleproject.com