The Personal Encounter that Preceded Passover

– An article by Steve Carpenter

The celebration of Israel's deliverance from Egypt was contingent on one man's response and obedience to the call and purpose of God. Most of us probably know the story of Moses rather well.

He was saved from an ancient genocide by being hidden in a basket and placed in a river. He was rescued and raised as a Prince of Egypt by the daughter of Pharaoh. As a young man, he was troubled by the mistreatment of the Hebrew slaves by the Egyptian taskmasters and took matters into his own hands. He killed the Egyptian slave master, and soon after fled into the wilderness. He married the daughter of Jethro, a Midianite Priest, and ended up tending his flocks. After 40 years in the wilderness, Moses had an encounter with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and that's when everything changed.

Let me encourage you from the encounter that Moses had with the Lord at the burning bush. Take just a minute to read the first ten verses of chapter three.

Exodus 3:1-10 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. 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. 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." 5 Then He said, "Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground." 6 Moreover He said, "I am the God of your 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 oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to 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 has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Allow me to summarize a few verses and then highlight something amazing.

Moses sees something curious. A bush was burning but it was not being consumed. He could sense something, perhaps something supernatural was happening, so He said to himself, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

Moses was on the back side of the desert (Exodus 3:1), but unbeknownst to him, this was the exact moment that God had determined to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt – a promise that was 400 years in the making.

The Lord had previously spoken to Abraham about the timeline of the Israelites servitude in Egypt. Genesis 15:13-14, "the LORD said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.”

Here is an important question:

What if Moses didn’t turn aside? What if he just continued on his way after sensing something supernatural was happening? What if he continued along like “business as usual” but missed the kairos-timing of God? The scary thing is, it’s possible to miss our moments of visitation. Remember what Yeshua said to the first century Israelites? He said, “you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:44)

Thank God Moses did turn aside. The next verse is even more amazing to me.

Exodus 3:4 "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!”

Here’s what I’m thinking: calling and clarity come when we turn aside and connect with our Creator.

I want to encourage you during this Passover season. God is moving in supernatural ways all around you. The hearts of His people are being stirred to believe for supernatural favor and miraculous interventions in every way. I'm not sure what your "burning bush" will look like, but I know that the Lord is trying to get your attention. He is calling you and inviting you to join Him in fulfilling His purposes on this earth. Your willingness to "turn aside" just might bring the breakthrough that you, and many others, have been crying out for.