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. 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. Then Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn. 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!
A burning bush that is not consumed is a paradox, a contradiction. You will find the straight and narrow road that leads to life in the midst of paradoxes. When Moses turned aside to investigate a paradox revelation flowed and a plan for deliverance came to light.
We need to consider something important before we discuss the revelation God gave to Moses. Why was God in the desert giving revelation and a plan to a man who did not need deliverance? Shouldn’t God have been in Egypt talking to the people who were groaning in misery? Moses was doing fine! What was God doing in Midian talking to a man who did not have a problem?
Ninety nine point nine percent of the time our deliverance will come through a man or woman but not the one we choose. We are not very good at choosing our deliverer because we don’t know whose heart is right with God. If we were wise enough to choose the deliverer, we would not be in need of deliverance.
God knows who can help you. If you reject the person he sends, you will never find deliverance. Israel did not vote Moses into office. God sent him. The first time God sent Moses, the people rejected him and their generation died in slavery. The second time God sent Moses, the people accepted him and were delivered from slavery. You will find deliverance when you accept the person God choose to help you. In his kingdom, there is only one person on the ballot.
“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?
The person you choose just might be as blind as you are. Can someone living in slavery with you teach you how to live in freedom?
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”
If the disciple becomes like his teacher, and the disciple needs deliverance there are strong possibilities the teacher needs deliverance to. A people cannot rise higher than their leaders because they become like the person who taught them.
God was in Midian talking to Moses because Moses was the only child of Abraham living in freedom. Therefore, Moses was the only brother who could teach his brothers how to be free again.
Jesus said to his disciples,
No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
When God created Adam, he lit a lamp. He told Adam the truth. The light is the truth. The truth is light. Adam was not deceived when he sinned. Eve was deceived but not by the serpent. She had light. She knew the truth. Her desire to be wise like God deceived her. God has never covered the light, the truth, with a vessel. God has never hidden what we need to know under a bed.
Can you see the light? Adam was not deceived when he sinned, yet God promised to save him from the death he deserved. Can you see the light? God is not against you even when you know the truth and choose to do wrong.
Humanity started with light not darkness. So why did we become so corrupt God found it necessary to destroy all but one family in a flood? Can you see the light? God does not want humanity to become extinct. God could have killed everyone in the flood. Noah was no better than anyone else. Noah got drunk and passed out naked even after he got saved. Could it be, God saved Noah because he was the only one who believed God would judge sin? Could it be, God saved Noah because he was the only one wise enough to obey God’s command to build an ark and get in it.
Destroying all humanity except one family grieved God. He swore that he would never do it again and put a rainbow in the sky to testify of his love and desire that we live. Can you see the light? God is for sinners. He could have destroyed all the sinners in the flood. Why didn’t he? Why did God give humanity a second chance through Noah? They knew the truth about God. They started with light not darkness.
Noah and his family walked off the ark knowing God’s mercy has a cut off point. Once again, humanity began with light. We know God is merciful. We also know that his mercy has a cut off point and punishment follows. Humanity possessed the truth, so why did the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the children of Noah and his family, become so corrupt God had to wipe them from the face of the earth? Is there an excuse for walking in darkness when you began with light?
How do the children of a man who understood God’s ways and taught them to his children become slaves? When we reject light, we open ourselves to slavery. God will help us, but desire will not bring deliverance. Deliverance comes because God has mercy on whomever he will have mercy, and he has compassion on whomever he will have compassion. So then, deliverance is not of him who wills, (not because you desire it) nor of him who runs, (not because you work for it).
Deliverance comes because God is merciful. For the Scripture said to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. Therefore God has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”
As we progress in this study, we will learn God came to Egypt to show mercy to Pharaoh, so everyone could know God. I know what you are thinking. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. How was that mercy? The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart was mercy. We are not ready enter a discussion of that yet. Until then, think about the following verses.
What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power (his mercy) known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, Even on us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
God’s mercy extended to the oppressor as well as the oppressed. He sent Moses to Egypt because he wanted everyone, Jew and Gentile, to know the truth. Egyptians departed for the Promised Land with Israel. So…. if everyone who left Egypt knew the truth about God, why did only two people enter the Promised Land? What happens to us that we start with light and end up slaves wandering in darkness and dying in deserts?
Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.
We wander in darkness and die in deserts because we do not take heed how we hear and even the little we have is taken from us. Error is born when the vain thought of a carnal mind is repeated until it becomes acceptable. Somebody said it. Somebody liked it. Somebody repeated it. Somebody accepted it. Before long it has been repeated and accepted so often it becomes a doctrine but not God’s doctrine. When we stop taking heed how we hear, we rely on fallible teachers to tell us what to think and our worship of God becomes vain.
When you do not “take heed how you hear,” you lose what little you have. There is no excuse. We have always had light and truth. The Bible warns us about false prophets and teachers who prefer speaking their own thoughts over digging for God’s thoughts. Most of them are good-hearted immature Christians who think they are serving God, but all they really do is make it hard for people to enter the kingdom of God.
We will suffer consequences for abandoning the light but God will not forsake us. Israel forsook God. He never forsook them. When they strayed so far that their children were being murdered, Moses was born to bring them back to the faith God taught Abraham. The writer of Hebrews says,
For indeed the gospel was preached to us (the people of the Apostles day) as well as to them (the people of Moses day); but the word which they (the people of Moses day) heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. (They heard the truth but they did not believe it.)
Paul explained what happened to the nation of Israel by comparing Israel to a tree. God broke branches off the tree he planted, the nation of Israel, when they refused to believe the gospel. Then God went to a wild olive tree, the gentiles, who have always been welcome in God’s kingdom. Even before Jesus came, Egyptians followed Israel into the desert to worship their God.
Every branch on the wild tree (people from Gentile nations) that believes the gospel is broken off of the wild tree and graft onto the tree God planted. This way every believer can partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree God planted. Paul warned Gentiles (the wild olive branches, that have been grafted onto God’s tree) not to boast.
do not boast against the branches. (The Jews or the flesh children of Abraham) But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. (Before you say something against the Jews consider that the root produced Jesus. He is a Jew.) You will say then, Branches (the Jews) were broken off that I might be grafted in. Well said, Because of unbelief they were broken off, (the Jews that did not believe were the only ones broken off) and you stand by faith, (You are not here because you are better than they are. You are here because you did what they refused to do. Believed the gospel) Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. (There is no such thing as once saved always saved. If you do what the natural branches did you will meet the same fate they did. You will be lying on the ground with the other unbelievers waiting to be gathered and burned.) Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if (God’s promises are not without conditions and requirements.) you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also (gentile) will be cut off (just like the Jew was). And they also, (the Jews who were broken off) if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
When God heard the natural branches groaning, branches God had broken off, Moses was still on the good olive tree, he saw an opportunity to graft them in again. He went to a man of faith living in Midian, so the man of faith might return to his brothers and teach them the faith of Abraham again. God would never break us off and cast us away, unless he knew he could graft us back in again.
For God to deal with those who needed deliverance first would have been vain. We cannot add knowledge until we have knowledge. Moses had faith in God, therefore God could add to his faith and send him to restore others. That is one reason God spoke to Moses and not the slaves. If you don’t understand faith, God cannot give you more. We could say it this way, knowledge cannot grow until we understand the knowledge we have.
It’s a simple principle people in education understand. When my husband was in college, he wanted to take an accounting course. They would not let him in the class until he took bookkeeping. Why wouldn’t they let him take accounting first?
My husband could not understand accounting until he understood the basic principles of bookkeeping. When he understood bookkeeping, his knowledge could grow. He could add knowledge to his knowledge. If we stop growing in knowledge, we are in danger of wandering in a wilderness until we die. If we are not growing in knowledge, we will lose what little knowledge we have.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; …
There has never been a shortage of knowledge about God. From the very beginning God gave us the knowledge we needed to live. This verse in Hosea says people are destroyed for lack of knowledge because they rejected knowledge. Peter gave us several reasons we are destroyed when we reject knowledge.
2 Peter 1:2-9
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
When we reject the knowledge of God, we will not have grace and peace in our lives. Grace and peace are multiplied to us through the knowledge. Not knowledge alone. Specific knowledge. The knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Peter used the Greek word, epignosis a, “full, or thorough knowledge, discernment, recognition,” of God and of Jesus our Lord. When you can discern and recognize whom God and Jesus are you will have grace and be at peace.
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue,
How does God’s divine power give us all things that pertain to life and godliness? Through Knowledge! Not knowledge alone. Specific knowledge. Through the knowledge of Him, God, who called us to glory and virtue, a full thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of God and our Lord Jesus.
By which (by the knowledge of HIM/God) have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
How do we partake of the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world. By Knowledge! Not knowledge alone. Specific knowledge. The knowledge of God gives us great and precious promises through which we partake of the divine nature and escape corruption.
Everything we receive from God, we receive through a full, thorough discernment and recognition of who God is.
But also for this very reason, (What reason? Because we receive from God through the knowledge of who his is) giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ
Sometimes it’s helpful to read the Bible in more than one version. The interlinear Bible gives a word for word translation from the original Greek the Bible was written in before the translators smooth it out.
2 Peter 1:5-7 Interlinear
…But diligence all bringing in supply in the faith of you virtue and in virtue knowledge, and in knowledge self-control and in self-control endurance, and in endurance piety, and in piety brotherly friendship, and in brotherly friendship love…
What things mean are sometimes subject to the translator’s opinion. In the NKJ they used “add”. In the interlinear they use “in”. The NAS also uses “in”. To me “in” is more revealing than “add”. “In” gives me an understanding “add” did not. Peter is telling us that in faith you will find virtue, or when you understand faith you will be able to understand virtue. You will never understand virtue until you understand faith. Just like my husband could not understand accounting until he understood bookkeeping.
In your faith you will find virtue. The Greek word for virtue, arete (ar-et-ay), means manliness, valor or excellence. When you understand faith, you will understand what it means to be a man. Let me say it this way to make it more inclusive and easier to understand. When you understand faith, you will understand how to be mature. You will understand how to stop acting like a child. You will never understand how to be mature until you understand faith, but not just any faith. The faith God taught Abraham.
In your virtue or in your maturity you will find knowledge. This knowledge is not the same Greek word used in the preceding five verses. This knowledge is gnosis. It means primarily “a seeking to know, an enquiry, investigation” … especially of spiritual truth.” This knowledge is not the full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition. This knowledge is the desire to have a full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition. It is a seeking to have, an enquiry to have, an investigation to have. All of your seeking and investigating will do you no good if you do not understand the faith God taught Abraham and the maturity it imparts. Children are incapable of receiving the things of God.
Only a mature person can grow beyond knowing God exist. Even devils know God exist and fear him. There are people who know God exist and don’t fear him. Seeking the knowledge of God will avail nothing if you don’t understand the maturity in faith.
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know his will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.
There is a reason they only had a form of knowledge and truth in the law. They did not understand the faith God taught Abraham, therefore, they never grew up. They never added virtue, maturity to their faith. They thought like a child. They understand like a child and that is why they spoke like a child. They have never put away childish things because they were children. Yet they thought they could teach others how to be a man. They labored to be a light to those in darkness and a guide to the blind unaware that they were blind because they did not possess a full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of whom God and his son Jesus really are.
When you understand faith it will mature you and give you a desire to possess a full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of who God really is. In that desire you will understand self-control. In self-control you will understand perseverance. God’s idea about perseverance is not the same as ours. Paul used a Greek word that means cheerful, hopeful waiting. In this cheerful hopeful waiting, you will understand godliness or piety. The Greek word is eusebeia, it denotes that piety which is characterized by a Godward attitude that does that which is well pleasing to God. When you understand godliness or piety you will understand brotherly kindness and when you understand brotherly kindness you will understand what it means to love.
There is so little true love in the church because we don’t understand faith anymore. Love is number seven on the list. You have to understand all these other things before you will understand what it means to love. We have never been able to add to our faith and grow to a place of true love for one another because we don’t understand faith anymore. Until we do nothing more can be added. Only the faith God taught Abraham will bring you to an understanding of love.
Most of the teaching about faith that I was taught in the church is understood and practiced by people who don’t attend church. You don’t need God to possess that kind of faith. You don’t need God to get financially rich. There are a lot of people with more money than I have that don’t give God a thought. For no other reason than they had faith they could do it. Their faith was not in God. They had faith in their faith. They had faith they could do it and they did it.
I watched an interview with a well-known actor. He said he was so poor all he possessed was a dream of being rich and famous. He wrote a check to himself for ten million dollars and swore to himself one day he would be able to cash it. Folded it and put it in his wallet. Today he can cash it more than once. That isn’t faith in God. That is faith in yourself, faith in your faith. I have heard ministers teach the very same principles this man used to get rich and famous as though it is the faith the Bible teaches but it’s not. This kind of faith will work sometimes if you don’t give up and you are willing to pay the price. But it will never, never, never teach us how to love.
That is why God went to a man of faith called Moses first. He wanted the children of Abraham to have more than faith that gives you the temporary things of this life. He wanted them to grow in the knowledge of God so they would understand how to love. He wants your heart and his heart to be one heart. He wants you to know the truth about him.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Deliverance is a journey of the heart because God wants you to do more than deliver you from the mess you created when you rejected the knowledge of God. It does not do much good to deliver you if you never come to the full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of who God really is. For if these things, faith, virtue/maturity, knowledge/desire to know, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love are yours and abound,
…you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Peter returned to the first word he used for knowledge. Not the seeking to know but the full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of who our Lord Jesus Christ is, the man God chose to deliver humanity from the injustice, oppression and suffering in this world. Something you will never possess if you don’t learn how to add because more cannot be given until you understand the little you have.
2 Peter 1:9-11
for he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
God can deliver you from your misery but it will not give you an abundant entrance to the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Only a full and thorough knowledge, discernment and recognition of who God is will make your life worth living again. You will never have that knowledge if you reject the person God sends to deliver you.
 1 Timothy 2:14
 Romans 9:15-18
 1922 Strongs
 from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)
(Copyright (C) 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
 703 Strongs
 1108 Strongs