Exodus 3:1-Ch.4:17 Don’t despise the Desert

Intro: We left off having seen Moses – after trying to take matters into his own hands to deliver Israel – fleeing into the Wilderness

  1. It was there that he met Jethro the Priest of Midian – married his daughter-
  2. Moses became a SHEPHERD - far cry from the Palaces of Egypt but we are told he was CONTENT to live there
  1. had a son Gershom = Stranger in a strange land
  1. So we pick up in Ch. 3

3:1 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.


  1. It is interesting how God will take men into the Desert before really using them Publicly –
  2. He often takes them to a place where he is able to work in them DEEPLY before using them MIGHTILY
  3. PINK –The Colleges of this world cannot equip for the Divine Service for that we must be taught in the school of God – the hand of man can not mould a vessel formed for the masters use. The one who is to use the vessel can alone prepare it"

  4. Case w/ Moses – place to forge & fashion …… of God

1) The Bible says that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise – God was going to make Moses a foolish thing –

D) The Desert would be His place of doing this

It is interesting how – men such as David / Paul / John the B. / Elijah & John the Apostle all had their times in the Desert

  1. Part of the Shaping / Revealing times
  2. Interesting though that aside from David we are not given– much insight into their Desert times –Why?
  1. There is not Uniform Curriculum in the School of God
  1. God deals w/ each person according to his/her individual needs & in accordance w/ the particular work that God has called them to.
  1. But those times in the Desert are great times of Growth – that end up producing Great fruit – why ? 3 Reasons


1st – It is a place of Reality – It is a place where we learn that we are not as great as we think – we are / not as together

  1. It is a place where we learn to be Broken / stripped of self confidence & Dependency
  2. Place where right Motives get formed – there is no audience to applaud what we do –

1) No Position or recognition to be earned – just you & God

2nd It is a STILL PLACE - Desert times & seasons are not Busy times / times where you can legitimately be still & know that He is God

  1. You learn what it means to be still & You learn to enjoy stillness
  2. See the blessing & the Value in the stillness – Realize later on when things get crazy the need to get back to that place
  1. Time outs are necessary –

A newspaper in Tacoma, Washington, carried this story about Tattoo, the basset hound. Tattoo didn't intend to go for an evening run, but when his owner shut his leash in the car door and took off with Tattoo still outside the vehicle, he had no choice.

A motorcycle officer named Terry Filbert noticed a passing vehicle with something that appeared to be dragging behind it. As he passed the vehicle, he saw the object was a basset hound on a leash. – Officer Filbert described what he saw

"He was picking them up and putting them down as fast as he could – speaking of Tattoos feet - He chased the car to a stop, and Tattoo was rescued, but not before the dog reached a speed of twenty to twenty-five miles per hour, and rolled over several times.

(The dog was fine but asked not to go out for an evening walk for a long time.)

Maybe you can relate to Tattoo – just picking them up & putting them down as fast as you can / always on the go !!!! Desert times are Necessary

  1. Be still –

3rd-it is a QUIET PLACE – No Distractions –limited Noise - a place where you can hear God’s voice

  1. Time where we learn to Embrace the Promises of God
  2. It is in the Desert times that we learn to walk by Faith & not by sight or by feelings
  1. People who run from the Desert times tend to have a Roller coaster walk w/ the Lord – always up & down /
  1. Always allowing their feelings to dictate their lives / always monitoring how they feel rather than what God declares in His Word
  2. God will take us into Desert situations to get us to Embrace His promises & learn to walk by faith / not sight or feelings


So Moses was in the back side of the desert for 40 yrs - God wasn’t in a Hurry – why are we

Horeb = Mt. Region / Sinai was the Peak – highest Point v.2

2 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.


  1. Theophony or a Christophony - O.T. Appearance of Jesus

BUSH ON FIRE - the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.

  1. Heb. 12:29 Our God is a consuming fire –
  1. Here God was in the Bush aspect of His glory/ Holiness seen – lighting it up but it wasn’t consumed / Pictures 2 things

B) 1st - The word bush in the Hebrew = a thorny bush

THORNS in the Scripture speak of the CURSE resulting from sin

C)The curse was carried on through to the CROWN of THORNS that Christ wore on the cross when He was made ACCURSED for us

  1. The Bush on fire but not Consumed is a picture of Jesus

D) Jn. 1 We beheld His glory ……… full of Grace & truth

1) When did they Behold his Glory ? - At the cross

E) Jesus John 12 – Now is the time for the Son of Man to be Glorified – speaking clearly there of His death

  1. It is where He became a curse for us – cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree

F) He who knew no sin became sin for us – that we might become the

righteousness of God through Him

  1. He endured the fire of God – for us – but was not consumed


2nd Picture of us – Note the fire was burning in a mighty cedar of Lebanon/ NOT in an acacia tree/ NOT in a mighty oak

A) But in a THORNY CURSED BUSH- I know that I am like a thorny bush

I don't have it together

B) I'm not a glorious cedar... a mighty oak

C)Yet God chooses to Burn in Thorny Bushes like us who bear the marks of the Curse – we are sinners

1) Wants to Burn in us – not to burn up / burn Bright

Moody –was asked explain – was so many people came to hear him preach – I just ask God to light me on fire …..watch me Burn !!!

WHY would God want to use a THORN BUSH instead of a mighty tree?

WHY wouldn't God just appear as a flame of fire apart from a bush?

A) This is wonderful truth

B) God has chosen to reveal His POWER, His GLORY, His WORD through bushes because it brings ALL of the glory to God

C) When God uses YOU and ME.... Thorny twisted little bushes... people have to say - "WOW!!"

3 Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn." 4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."

Note – When Moses turned aside the Lord spoke - Again we see here the importance of Desert times

  1. If Moses was in Egypt – Busy running all around – involved in this & over seeing that – do you think that He would have turned aside

  3. Sometimes people wonder why don’t I hear the Lord’s Voice more ?
  1. It could be that you are too Busy – running around
  2. Or it could be things are going too smoothly – not seeking
  1. Desert time is needed –
  2. Desert Job ? / Desert Marriage / Desert Situation – Rejoice It is God’s Chance to reveal Himself in a New way
  1. Hear from Him – Loud & clear /


Note V. 4 again When God saw that Moses turned aside – He spoke – God spoke when wasn’t on Auto Pilot - Curious

  1. Journaling – Anticipation – Pen in hand

B) Moses Turned aside to see – God Spoke - / John 1:12 – turned to see the voice that spoke to me