Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” ~Exodus 3:1-3
The illustrations I saw as a kid always seemed to show this burning bush as a leafless mass of branches and twigs. And until this week, that’s the image I carried. Until Holy Spirit connected the burning bush with this passage:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~Acts 2:1-4
Those weren’t bare skeletons the tongues of fire came to rest upon. Those were apostles and disciples—vibrantly alive, flesh and blood, breathing human beings. The bush that wasn’t consumed wasn’t a dry, leafless thing. I believe it was a beautiful example of its species, in full leaf and possibly in flower. Seeing that totally engulfed in flames, but not withering and fading to ash, stopped Moses dead in his tracks.
I love the vividness of God’s message to Moses, and the clear messages these two passages send to us: we are resting places for the fire of God to dwell, that fire does not consume us, and God is eager to pour his spirit out upon us in such abundance that miracles flow in the overflow of love and glory.
If you’re a believer, did you know your inheritance includes being a walking bonfire?