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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sampling a story of freedom from the Five-Minute Bible Stories Series (TM)



Welcome to another Sample Saturday Five-Minute Bible Story. Since this is July 4th weekend, where American's celebrate freedom and Independence, it seems appropriate to post a story celebrating freedom and dependence on God, so here's a familiar tale, told, I hope, in a slightly unfamiliar manner, about a famous shepherd called... well, I'll let you guess.


~ 12 ~
THE SHEPHERD AND THE BURNING BUSH
(Exodus 3:1-6,11-12, 4:1-17)
There was once a man who lived with his wife and his father-in-law and had two sons. This man was a shepherd. Every year, when the weather got hot, he would take his father-in-law’s sheep across the desert to the Holy Mountain to graze. As they climbed through the desert, the air would get cooler. When they reached the mountains the grass grew soft and green and kept the sheep healthy.
The man liked taking the sheep to the Holy Mountain, even though he wasn’t sure he believed in his father-in-law’s god. It was quiet up there, with just the sound of lambs bleating and sheep eating grass. It was cool, with the fresh air stirred by pleasant breezes. And it was safe because there weren’t so many wild animals.
One time the man was watching the sheep when he heard a strange noise. He looked around and saw a puzzling sight—smoke rising from the ground. He left the sheep where they were and walked toward the smoke.
When the man got closer, he saw the smoke was coming from a fire. Then he was worried. What if the fire spread to nearby bushes and came down the hill to the sheep. Then his flock would scatter and he’d have to chase after them. That wouldn’t be good.
The man walked closer, but this fire wasn’t spreading at all. Instead it stayed all in one place, with one bush burning brightly in the middle. “Oh good,” thought the man. “Maybe the bush will burn away and the fire will go out.” But the bush wasn’t burning away. It just sat there covered in flames. “Oh dear,” thought the man. “I don’t understand.”
Just then the man heard a voice speaking from the bush. He wondered if it was his father-in-law’s god, but the voice said it belonged to the one true God instead. The voice told the man to go back to where he was born and rescue God’s people from slavery.
“I can’t do that,” said the man, who had run away from Egypt long ago. “The Pharaoh will kill me.” But God said there was a new Pharaoh because the old one had died. “I still can’t do it,” said the man. “I’m not good enough at talking. No one will listen to me.” Then God said the man’s brother would help him talk. “I still can’t do it,” said the man. “This new Pharaoh will never let the slaves get away.” But God said the Pharaoh would set them free after he saw what God could do. “Please, I still can’t do it,” said the man. So God showed him how God could make sticks turn into snakes, and healthy skin get sick and get better again.
“I can do lots of other things too,” said God. “And I will, if you will do my will.” So the man took the flocks back to his father-in-law and set off with his wife and sons to the place where he was born. And he really did rescue God’s people, with God’s help.
Lord God, it really doesn’t matter what we can do,
as long as we take notice of what you can do.
Thank you for doing such wonderful things.
Thank you for making us your people and rescuing us.



Find more stories from Exodus in Exodus Tales by Sheila Deeth, available on kindle from: 
And find out more about the Five-Minute Bible Stories Series at:
Thank you for making us your people and rescuing us.

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