Day 1 of 7

Listening to the Community

Exodus 3:1-10

Moses and the Burning Bush

1Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.2There 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.3So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

4When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

5“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”6Then 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.

7The 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.8So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.9And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.10So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”


Jehovah Jireh, thank you for listening to us, and for hearing our prayers and not turning a deaf ear to our lamentations. You are the God who hears, who see, and who liberates, and for this we give you thanks, honor, and praise; now, and forevermore!


After what most biblical scholars say was a few centuries of silence, God reemerges in dramatic fashion. God reappears before Moses in a burning bush, giving him a great commission. The cries, laments, and oppression of the community compelled God to intervene and come down to meet Moses. God says “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” (verse 7). While we usually think about listening to the community as a task that is exclusively for us to engage in, we see here that God also listens to the community. Moreover, not only does God listen to us, but the community’s voice also has the power to induce divine actions: intervention and deliverance. Theologian Walter Brueggemann writes “His [God’s] history begins in his attentiveness to the cries to the marginal ones.”


How does it make you feel to know that God hears the community’s voice and also responds to our cries, laments, and oppression? What is something that you are crying out to God for?