CLAIM: Many wonder why the OT is filled with arbitrary commands like these.
RESPONSE: God was already trying to show Moses that there was a separation between him and humans. This is what the term “holy” means; God is different from humankind. Later, God gave the Jews strict terms on how to approach him in the Temple’s holy of holies. Here, God gave Moses a basic instruction on how to approach him. This demonstrates that these rituals are symbolic or instructive of deeper spiritual truths.
God probably picked an ordinary object like a bush to show that he can appear anywhere. Earlier that day, animals were probably relieving themselves on this very spot! God was showing that he can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, if his presence is there.