Bible Journaling: Burning Bush &
Names of God in Exodus 3
The story of the burning bush in Exodus 3 has always been one I could easily imagine and draws me into the scene. Here’s how I imagine it: Moses, minding his own business, working like he did most days, tending sheep. His mind would sometimes wander back to decades ago when he was in Egypt. It seemed like a lifetime ago and a world far away. He didn’t use much of his education out here in the wilderness, but that was okay. He didn’t talk well anyway. He had a family he loved, the great outdoors, which was a kind of comforting consolation for the lack of reading, writing, and new learning he loved when he was a boy.
One ordinary day, following a curious oddity of nature, everything changed. A burning bush, not burning up. It wasn’t until Moses noticed the burning bush and turned to see it, that God called him by name. Moses answered, “Here I am.” It was a holy turn of events, and God instructed Moses to take off his shoes, an act of obedience, vulnerability and complete focus.
Then God shared his heart and care for his people. He tells Moses He knows their suffering and hears their cries, and will deliver them out of slavery in Egypt to lead them to the promised land flowing with mild and honey. If that wasn’t astonishing enough, God tells Moses He is sending Moses to bring God’s people out of Egypt. All of a sudden, the remarkableness of a non-burnt-up burning bush faded. What God told Moses to do seemed even more outrageous!
This is the part that is so easy for me to relate to. Moses is aghast. What was God thinking? Who am I to do this? It must be a mistake. I can’t do that. So Moses says, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” God answers Moses with the key to success of all impossible, outrageous adventures. He said, “But I will be with you…”
That’s it! With God nothing is impossible. If God is asking, and we are willing, the answer is always a done deal.
It’s probably a good thing Moses didn’t know all he was getting into. At the beginning, the main thing is to say ‘Yes’ to God. God being with Moses is all that mattered. God even promises Moses a sign that when he brings the people out of Egypt, they will serve God on the very mountain Moses was on at that moment. At first I didn’t think this was a big deal, but now I see more significance. In addition to the mountain being where God talked to Moses, it was familiar territory to Moses. God hadn’t wasted Moses’ past in Egypt, nor were the years living in the wilderness wasted. All of Moses’ experience was being repurposed for God’s eternal purpose. God assured Moses that he was the right man for the job and God would be with him every step of the way.
God's Personal Names
Ehyeh, or the Hebrew equivalent AHYH, is not the same as Yahweh [YHVH] as in the very next verse Exodus 3:15 NOG: “Again Elohim [Great Creator] said to Moses, ‘This is what you must say to the people of Israel: Yahweh [YHVH] of your ancestors, The Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has sent me to you. This is my name forever…”
In researching why the difference, what seems to make sense is that Ehyeh [AHYH] is God talking in the first person as in “I will be who I will be.”
Under the Hebrew letters of God’s name I wrote the definition of the letters. These description give insight to the character of God in AHYH and YHVH.
YHVH is spoken in the third person as in “He is.” YHVH expresses God’s closeness to humanity. YHVH appears over 6800 times in the Hebrew Scripture. The orthodox Jews do not say this name of God in fear of profaning it. It seems ironic that this is the name God gave the Israelites for Himself because He is so intimately involved in the lives of His people.
At our church, I facilitated a short Journaling the Names of God class. Here are links to online resources I found:
Bible Gateway: https://www.biblegateway.com
To find verses that have the name of God you’re looking for, type the name of God, such as Yahweh, into the left search box and then in the translation box, click on the down arrow and scroll to Names of God Bible (NOG) and click. The Scriptures with that name will be listed.
Bible Hub: http://biblehub.com/
Blue Letter Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org/search.cfm
Hebrew 4 Christians: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/names_of_g-d.html
“YHVH” in ancient Hebrew! (animated) https://youtu.be/50VxL16hmbI
“YHVH” in ancient Hebrew! (audio Part 1) https://youtu.be/Fq9ZQ0ebqCk
“YHVH” in ancient Hebrew! (audio Part 2) https://youtu.be/RZ-dZzgsNrM
Animated videos by The Bible Project:
Word Study: YHVH – “LORD” https://youtu.be/eLrGM26pmM0
Check out The Bible Projects other animated videos at: https://www.youtube.com/user/jointhebibleproject/featured
One helpful book I find fascinating for looking into Hebrew letter alphabet meaning is Chaim Bentorah’s book, Learning God’s Love Language. You see I included the Hebrew letters and definitions of the letters in my margin study. The letter meanings are mostly from Chaim Bentorah’s book.
How is God revealing Himself to me as YHVH, as a personal God to me?
How can I honor and reflect YHVH as being present with people?
YHVH who can I bless today because of Your presence with me?
One of my big take-aways after studying this passage in Exodus 3 is the strong reminder that
God equips the one He calls &
nothing is impossible with God!
NOTE: You may have noticed I glued a piece of paper on the Ehyeh page. I made a mistake and left out a line quoting the verse. The more I Bible journal, the more I need to give myself grace to mess up. It is not as easy to fix mistakes in the journaling Bibles, but I find it is worth the risk and an opportunity for me to let go of perfectionism and focus on what is important.
These Bible journal pages were done with Micron pens and Prismacolor colored pencils. (see links below)
If you are interested in Bible journaling, check out my e-course: Bible Journaling with Stencils & More!
Blessings to you as you create!
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Cosmic Galaxy & Space theme Washi tape Purchase Online from:
Etsy by PasoKuma
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