In Exodus 3 we read the well-known story of Moses and the burning bush:
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
Exodus 3:1-4 (NIV)
What an awesome experience this must have been for Moses. A lot of the time we read stories in the Bible and we don’t really grasp how amazing it must have been to witness some1 of these awesome events2. Perhaps we’ve seen so many advances in technology and science we’ve become desensitized. Or Hollywood’s latest and greatest has shown us things already beyond our wildest imaginations.
Whatever the cause, it’s important we read these stories with careful consideration to what God is speaking to us. Paul says:
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NIV)
The simple truth is that God made the choice as to which stories we would be left with; the ones we have serve a purpose in our life today—and even during the times when the scriptures were being penned, God spoke this to His people:
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (NKJV)
God doesn’t want His Word to be a part of our lives, He wants His Word to be integrated into every aspect of our being (i.e. a lifestyle choice).
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
The reality is that these stories, and every other part of scripture, have the ability to change our lives and draw us closer to God through Christ.