(An Artistic Interpretation of Exodus 3:1-10)
Original oil on board – 2 panels, each 18” x 28”
Fire has many meanings in the Bible. In Exodus 3, the focus is on the Presence of the Lord. I once stood near an erupting volcano on the island of Hawaii, and my first instinct was to turn and run yet at the same time I wanted to draw near and see as well. In the same way, Moses was drawn to this bush, which burned but was not consumed. As he drew near, the Lord spoke to him out of the midst of the bush saying, “Come no closer. Stop where you are and remove your shoes because you are standing on holy ground.” Biblically the removing of shoes speaks of the reverence and humility that necessarily proceeds true obedience.
In the Scriptures the mountaintop is often symbolic of the meeting place between God and man. Mt. Horeb (a lower peak of Mt. Sinai), was in the South Palestinian volcanic region near enough to Midian for the shepherd Moses to have led his father-in-law”s flock there for grazing. The summit of the mountain was situated at 7,363ft, and was named Jebel, which means “thorny bush.”
I chose to call this piece The Commissioning because it was here at Horeb that the Lord God commissioned Moses to go back into Egypt and lead his people out of captivity and into the Promised Land.
1.Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
2.And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
3.And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
4.And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
5.And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
6.Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7.And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
8.And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
9.Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
10.Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.