Moses grew up in the palace of Egypt. He was rich and important. His life was easy but the lives of his people were the exact opposite. One day when Moses was grown up, he walked among the Hebrews as they worked hard for the Egyptians. One Egyptian mistreated a Hebrew worker. Moses completely lost his temper and attacked the Egyptian.
Later, when Moses walked among them again, two Hebrew workers got into a fight and he tried to stop them.
“Are you our boss?” one of them asked. “We know what happened with that Egyptian. I suppose you’re going to attack us like you did him!”
Moses froze in fear. He thought no one knew of what happened with the Egyptian. But word got to Pharaoh who was furious. Moses ran away to escape the Pharaoh’s anger. Moses’ comfortable, luxurious life was about to be turned upside down. It probably felt like the worst thing that could happen to him, but God had big plans for Moses.
Moses hid in the land of Midian, where he began a new life. He got married and had a son. He worked as a shepherd for his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. Did he think about his old life often? Did he worry about the Hebrew people? Or was he trying to forget all about Egypt?
One day, Moses led the sheep and goats of his father-in-law across the desert to Mount Sinai.
Moses noticed a bush was on fire some distance from him. It burned, but it did not burn up. Curious, Moses climbed up to it. There, an angel of the Lord appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up. As he got closer, God called out to him, “Moses!”
“Here I am.” Moses replied.
“Don’t come any closer,” God told him. “Take off your sandals—this is holy ground.”
Moses hid his face from God, in wonder of the awesomeness of His presence.
“I have heard the prayers of My people,” God told him. “I will put an end to the Egyptians treating them badly.”
The former prince-of-Egypt-turned-shepherd was nervous as he realized why God was telling him this. “I couldn’t possibly be the right person to speak to Pharaoh and lead Your people out of Egypt,” Moses protested.
“I will be with you,” the Lord assured him. “You will return to this mountain to worship Me after you have brought them from Egypt safely. And in that moment you will realize that it was I who sent you.
“I don’t even know what name to use for You when I speak to my people,” Moses argued. “I can tell them the God Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshipped has sent me, but what does that even mean?”
“I am who I am,” God replied. “I am the eternal God. Tell them that.”
Moses was still afraid. “I’ve never been a good speaker,” he explained. “I trip over my words and never say the right thing.”
“Who makes anyone good at anything?” God argued. “Isn’t it Me? I promise to be with you when you speak.”
Moses was still nervous, so God agreed to send Moses’ brother, Aaron, with him, to help him speak to Pharaoh. Aaron was already traveling to visit Moses, and knowing their mission was one chosen by the Lord, the two men headed toward Egypt, ready to speak with one of the most powerful people on the planet at that time.