Devotional Thoughts for Today
“The Lord Appears” Part 2
And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” 4 When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”
Our church currently is going through Experiencing God, so I can’t help but use another quote today (I promise this will be the last one for this week): “God’s revelation of His activity is an invitation for you to join Him…When you are in the middle of God’s activity and He lets you see where He is working, you know God wants you to join Him.”
The Lord did not appear to Moses simply to say, “Hey buddy, how’s it going?” I cannot think of any time in the Bible that the Lord spoke to His people simply for conversation (please tell me if you know of an example). When God appeared and spoke to His people, there was a reason. God was up to something and He wanted to bring His people on board. God’s revelation is always an invitation.
God revealed Himself to Moses to call him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God appeared to Gideon to lead the Israelites against the Midianites. God appeared to Ezekiel at the Chebar Canal to call him to prophesy to the Israelites. God’s appearance is always an invitation to join Him in what He is doing—we see this countless times throughout the Bible.
This means that God’s appearance demands a response. When God called Moses, he responded, “Here I am”—which is basically the ancient equivalent of saying, “I am ready to listen.” Moses turned his full attention to God. Though we know Moses was hesitant about the specific task given (which we will see later), Moses’ ears were turned to the Lord. He was ready to listen and respond.
How about us? Are we ready to say, “Here I am” when the Lord appears to us? Are we ready to respond to Him? Yesterday, we prayed for eyes to see God when He appears, but this appearance is meaningless if we do not respond. God’s appearance is always an invitation for us to join Him – will you accept that invitation?
Prayer: Lord, thank You that You reveal Your ways and purposes to us. Thank You that You involve us in what You are doing! Who are we to be included in Your plans, yet You choose to use us nonetheless. Please give us ears to listen and hearts to respond to what You say to us. May You use us for Your kingdom purposes. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 49
Lunch Break Study
Read Judges 6:11-16: Now the angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13 And Gideon said to him, “Please, my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our fathers recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14 And the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do not I send you?” 15 And he said to him, “Please, Lord, how can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16 And the Lord said to him, “But I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.”
Questions to Consider
- What was Gideon doing when the Lord appeared to him?
- Why did God appear to Gideon? What did He say He would use Gideon to do?
- What was the guarantee of Gideon’s success in God’s mission?
- Gideon was working. He was beating out wheat, which was an ordinary task. He was hiding in a winepress due to the fear of the Midianites, but still the Lord appeared to him in the midst of the mundane.
- God appeared to Gideon in order to invite him to be a part of God’s mission to rescue Israel from the Midianites. God said to Gideon, “Go in this might of yours and save Israel from the hand of Midian; do I not send you?” Though Gideon would be the unexpected hero, God appeared in order to set in motion a plan to use Gideon in a great way. Thankfully, Gideon eventually did get on board with God’s plans.
- When God appears to us and invites us into His plans, He does not simply then send us off to figure it out on our own, saying, “Don’t worry, you got this.” No, he goes with us. Gideon asked how he would know that he could actually do what God asked of him. God responded by saying, “I will be with you.” That was the guarantee of Gideon’s success. We have the same promise, as Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Have you felt the Lord inviting you to partner with Him in some way? Perhaps you have recently felt a desire to serve in some capacity at church or maybe there is a friend or coworker you have felt led to share the gospel with, or maybe there is something else on your heart. Take time to say “yes” to God and commit to doing what He is inviting you to do.