Monday, September 24, 2012

The burning bush a revelational sign

Westminster Theological Seminary professor Scott Olphint introduces a very interesting idea concerning Moses and the burning bush. This appears in his book Reasons for Faith.

It is not an insignificant detail that what draws Moses into God's presence on that mountain is a picture of who God is. There is no analogy in the creation for the independent and the uncreated. So God creates a picture of his character in the burning bush. He gives Moses a sign: an "independent" fire. The fire does not derive its burning from the context in which it burns. It is self-generated, contradicting all rules of creation. The bush is on fire, but the fire is not dependent on the bush; it possesses its own energy. There is, it seems, a deliberate and revelational sign given by God to unveil the significance, both of God's covenantal revelation to Moses (because fire is with the bush), and of his revelation of the divine name-"I AM WHO I AM." (237)

The burning bush event encapsulates the God's self-revealing of his name I AM WHO I AM which is clearly a very significant moment in the relationship between God and Israel and thus is of massive import for all mankind. Thus, this event bears the study and intense gazing that the church has encumbered it with. Dr. Oliphint's insights are fascinating to consider.

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