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THE BUSH WAS NOT CONSUMED!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, October 1, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed”
(Exodus 3:2).


Our church is full of young people this morning.  Many of you have never before been inside a Baptist church.  Many of you have never heard an old-fashioned gospel sermon. 

You were invited to come to church, and you came.  You knew you were coming to a church, but you came anyway.  Perhaps you were a little concerned, wondering what you were “getting into.”  No one ever invited you to a Baptist church service before.  You wondered what it would be like, unusual, unique, out of the ordinary.  But you came anyway.  And we’re glad you did!  Thank you for coming!    

Moses was out in the wilderness.  He saw a burning bush on the side of a mountain.  My wife and I have been at that place.  It is a tourist attraction today.  Moses looked at the bush.  It kept on burning and burning and burning – and burning!  Why didn’t it burn out?  Why did the fire go on and on?  Moses was drawn to the burning bush by curiosity, just as you were drawn by curiosity to come to church this morning.  Moses came closer and closer to that burning bush.  Just as your curiosity drew you here to church this morning, Moses’ curiosity drew him to the burning bush,

“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt” (Exodus 3:3).

The bush burned, but was not consumed.  What did that indicate?  What did it signify?  What did that burning bush mean?

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

I believe that the burning but unconsumed bush illustrates, nay typifies, gives a picture, of three great truths in Scripture.  

I. First, the burning bush typifies the indestructibility of the Jewish people.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, concerning this verse,

Years ago an emperor of Germany asked his chaplain the question, “What is the greatest proof that the Bible is the word of God?...” Without hesitation the chaplain said, “The Jew, sir. He is the proof.” He is the burning bush that ought to cause the unbeliever to turn aside and take a look today. It is amazing that he has existed down through the centuries. From the days of Moses to the present hour he has been in existence. Other nations have come and gone, and he has attended the funeral of them all…Israel has been in the fire of persecution from the bondage in Egypt, through the centuries, to the present hour. But like the burning bush Israel has not been consumed (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, volume I, p. 209).

From the time of Moses to this present hour, the Jews have been in the fire of affliction, and yet Israel still exists today! Pharaoh enslaved them. Rome scattered them to the far ends of the earth. Spain imprisoned them. Hitler burned them in ovens. The Muslim extremists burned their synagogues. And yet they are here! The Midianites are gone. The Philistines are gone. The Hittites are gone. Hitler is gone. But Israel is the everlasting nation! Why? Because God said,

“I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8).

Because God said to Israel,

“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

Israel is the everlasting nation! The only everlasting nation!

II. Second, the burning bush typifies the indestructibility of the Bible.

God chose the Jewish people, the everlasting nation, to give to all the world the Bible, the Word of God. The Apostle Paul said,

“What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1-2).

The “logion,” the “utterances,” the very words of God! The everlasting Bible was given to the world by God through the everlasting people, the nation of Israel!

“Unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:2).

Every jot, every tittle, every word, was given by inspiration of God in Hebrew and Greek, by the everlasting God, through the everlasting nation! And the Lord Jesus Christ, our Jewish Saviour, said,

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31).

The Bible is the indestructible Word of God. Dr. W. A. Criswell, one of the greatest preachers of the twentieth century, said,

I believe that the Bible is literally true because it partakes of the nature of God, who is eternal…The Bible is not a book; it is the Book. It is the indestructible, undestroyable, ever-living, eternal, enduring Word of God…Throughout the ages the Bible has been the central object of Satan’s assault. Every available weapon in the devil’s arsenal has been employed… But however hated, the Bible cannot be destroyed. However warred against, it continues to survive…Over 200 years ago the skeptic Voltaire said, “Fifty years from now the world will hear no more of the Bible.” It is a strange commentary on this prophecy that in the very year the British Museum paid the Russian government over $500,000 for a copy of a Greek Bible…a first edition of Voltaire’s sold on a bookstore counter in Paris for less than eight cents!...Though the [Bible] has been assaulted, spit upon, torn to pieces, and burned, yet the catalog of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament is the same catalog that has remained through the ages (W. A. Criswell, Ph.D., Why I Preach That the Bible is Literally True, Broadman Press, 1973, pp. 103, 104, 106).

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).

Never let them take that precious truth from us! They will try to do that in your secular college. They tried to do it in the liberal seminary I attended. Now, by strange and subtle pressure, there are some doing it in our fundamental Baptist churches. No matter what the cost – never, ever let them take away from you the God-breathed words of the Hebrew and Greek Bible – the everlasting words of the everlasting God in His everlasting Book! Never let them take those God-breathed Hebrew and Greek words from you! The Bible is indestructible! Die for it! Never give an inch! Stand by the holy words of the everlasting God, in His everlasting Book!

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8).

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

III. Third, the burning bush typifies the indestructibility
of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Just as the nation Israel is everlasting, just as the words given by God to the Jewish people are everlasting, so our Messiah, given to the world through the everlasting nation, is indestructible, the everlasting Saviour!

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Oh, I know, they arrested Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yes, I know, they beat Him half to death, and pressed a cruel crown of thorns down on His bruised and bloody head. Oh, yes, I know that they nailed Him to a cross. I know He died. I know they shuffled His dead body off to someone else’s tomb. “Get rid of Him before the sun goes down,” they said. “Seal His tomb and set Roman guards around it,” they snarled. And the sun went down. And darkness fell over all the face of the land. Then,

“The first day of the week cometh…when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side” (John 20:1, 19-20).

They rejected Him. They crucified Him. They buried Him. But, thank God, He rose physically from the dead! And the Apostle Peter said,

“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour” (Acts 5:30-31).

They crucified Him, but He rose from the dead!

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

That burning bush pictured the indestructibility of the Lord Jesus Christ! He has risen from the dead! He is alive, at the right hand of God in Heaven!

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

And if you will come to Christ in simple faith, you too will be indestructible. You too will have everlasting life.

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).

Though you pass through fiery trials of adversity and trouble, you who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ “shall never perish.” One of our old hymns says it well,

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
   (“How Firm a Foundation,” “K” in Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787).

“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed” (Exodus 3:2).

Come to Christ and you will live for ever!

God sent the everlasting nation to give you His everlasting Book, so you would hear of His everlasting Son, and find everlasting life through Him!

Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Come to Christ and be saved. He died on that bloody Cross so your sins could be forgiven and cleansed forever. He rose from the dead to give you everlasting life. Come to Christ, and you will have forgiveness of sin. His righteousness will be imputed to you and you will live forever! And be sure to come back here to church next Sunday! Better yet, come back tonight!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Exodus 3:1-6.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“How Firm a Foundation” (“K” in Rippon’s Selection of Hymns, 1787).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE BUSH WAS NOT CONSUMED!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“The bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed”
(Exodus 3:2).

(Exodus 3:3)

I.   The burning bush typifies the indestructibility of the Jewish
people, Genesis 17:8; Isaiah 48:10.

II.  The burning bush typifies the indestructibility of the Bible,
Romans 3:1-2; Mark 13:31; Isaiah 40:8.

III. The burning bush typifies the indestructibility of the Lord
Jesus Christ, Galatians 4:4-5; John 20:1, 19-20;
Acts 5:30-31; John 3:36; 10:28.