I have seen….

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Median and he led the flock to the far side of the desert 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 him from within the bush Moses! Moses! And Moses said “Here I am” “Do not come any closer” God said. “Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground” Then he said “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  At this Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.  The Lord said “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…..and now the cry of the Israelites has reached me and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them

Exodus 3.1-9

The words in bold, saw, see and seen are all translations of one Hebrew word that appears 1700 times in the Old Testament which makes the theme of seeing and its related ideas of considerable importance. Clearly its use does not always indicate that it is God who is seeing or doing the looking but the concept of a God who sees is one that should both challenge and excite.

In the context of this passage from Exodus 3 the seeing that is recorded should encourage us greatly as we live in an ever more secular world in which God’s people face ever increasing threats.

Note first that Moses saw the angel of Lord, revealed in ‘flames of fire from within a bush’.

The description, the angel of the Lord, very often in Scripture seems to  stand for a pre-incarnation appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Here the ‘angel of the Lord’ appeared and Moses went to see and the passage indicates that he saw God.

The LORD saw and spoke, calling Moses by name and warning him that he was standing on was holy ground. God revealed himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so awed was Moses that he hid his face, for he feared to look at God, implying that to see God was utterly overwhelming.

Then God speaks again. ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt’. ‘I have heard’. ‘I am concerned’. ‘I have come down’. What words of encouragement!

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our God is the God who sees, the God who knows, the God who acts.

There are times when we may feel alone and our situation may appear very bleak but in such times remember our God, your God if you are a believer is the God who sees and knows.

I’ve seen the lightning flashing,
  And heard the thunder roll;
I’ve felt sin’s breakers dashing,
  Trying to conquer my soul;
I’ve heard the voice of Jesus,
  Telling me still to fight on;
He promised never to leave me,
  Never to leave me alone. No, never alone,
  No, never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
  Never to leave me alone;
No, never alone,
  No, never alone,
He promised never to leave me,
    Never to leave me alone.

The world’s fierce winds are blowing,
  Temptations are sharp and keen;
I feel a peace in knowing
  My Savior stands between;
He stands to shield me from danger,
  When earthly friends are gone,
He promised never to leave me,
  Never to leave me alone.

When in affliction’s valley,
  I’m treading the road of care,
My Savior helps me to carry
  My cross when heavy to bear;
My feet entangled with briars,
  Ready to cast me down;
My Savior whispered His promise,
  Never to leave me alone.

He died for me on the mountain,
  For me they pierced His side,
For me He opened that fountain,
  The crimson, cleansing tide;
For me He waiteth in glory,
  Seated upon His throne;
He promised never to leave me,
  Never to leave me alone.

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