Moses and the Burning Bush
1Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. Jethro was the priest of Midian. Moses led the flock to the western side of the desert. He came to Horeb. It was the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him from inside a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire. But it didn’t burn up. 3So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”
4The Lord saw that Moses had gone over to look. So God spoke to him from inside the bush. He called out, “Moses! Moses!”
“Here I am,” Moses said.
5“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6He continued, “I am the God of your father. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard that, he turned his face away. He was afraid to look at God.
7The Lord said, “I have seen how my people are suffering in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering. 8So I have come down to save them from the Egyptians. I will bring them up out of that land. I will bring them into a good land. It has a lot of room. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey. The Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites live there. 9And now Israel’s cry for help has reached me. I have seen how badly the Egyptians are treating them. 10So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people.”
11But Moses spoke to God. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?” he said. “Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
12God said, “I will be with you. I will give you a sign. It will prove that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will worship me on this mountain.”
13Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the people of Israel. Suppose I say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ And suppose they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
14God said to Moses, “I am who I am. Here is what you must say to the Israelites. Tell them, ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
15God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord is the God of your fathers. He has sent me to you. He is the God of Abraham. He is the God of Isaac. And he is the God of Jacob.’ My name will always be The Lord. Call me this name for all time to come.
16“Go. Gather the elders of Israel together. Say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, appeared to me. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God said, “I have watched over you. I have seen what the Egyptians have done to you. 17I have promised to bring you up out of Egypt where you are suffering. I will bring you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. It is a land that has plenty of milk and honey.” ’
18“The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt. You must say to him, ‘The Lord has met with us. He is the God of the Hebrews. Let us take a journey that lasts about three days. We want to go into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you and your people go. Only a mighty hand could make him do that. 20So I will reach out my hand. I will strike the Egyptians with all the amazing things I will do. After that, their king will let you go.
21“I will cause the Egyptians to treat you in a kind way. Then when you leave, you will not go with your hands empty. 22Every woman should ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for things made out of silver and gold. Ask them for clothes too. Put them on your children. In that way, you will take the wealth of Egypt along with you.”