In the land of Egypt, a new Pharaoh arose who did not remember Joseph or the favor he had shown to the Hebrew people. The descendants of Jacob, known as the Israelites, found themselves enslaved, oppressed, and subjected to harsh labor under the Egyptians.
During this time, a baby boy was born to a Hebrew couple. They named him Moses. In an act of desperation to save their son from Pharaoh’s decree to kill all Hebrew male infants, Moses’ parents set him adrift in a basket on the river Nile. Miraculously, the basket was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter, who took pity on the child and adopted him as her own.
Moses grew up in the palace, educated in the ways of the Egyptians. But as he matured, he became aware of his Hebrew heritage and the suffering of his people. One day, while witnessing an Egyptian taskmaster mistreating a Hebrew slave, Moses’ anger got the better of him. He struck down the taskmaster and buried him in the sand.
Realizing that his crime had been witnessed, Moses fled Egypt and found refuge in the land of Midian. There, he settled and married Zipporah, the daughter of a Midianite priest. Moses began a new life as a shepherd, tending to his father-in-law’s flock in the wilderness.
One day, as Moses led the sheep near the mountain of Horeb, he saw a remarkable sight—a bush that was on fire but not consumed by the flames. Curiosity compelled Moses to investigate this phenomenon. As he approached the burning bush, a voice called out to him from within it, saying, “Moses, Moses!”
Startled, Moses replied, “Here I am.”
The voice identified itself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It commanded Moses to remove his sandals, for he was standing on holy ground. Moses obeyed, humbling himself before the presence of God.
God spoke to Moses, revealing His plan to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt. He had heard the cries of His people and chosen Moses to be the one to lead them out of slavery and into the Promised Land—a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses, overwhelmed by the magnitude of this calling, expressed his doubts and fears. He questioned his ability to fulfill such a task and asked God for His name.
God replied, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”
With this assurance, God bestowed upon Moses signs and wonders to perform before the Israelites and Pharaoh. He promised to be with Moses every step of the way, guiding and empowering him.
Reluctantly, Moses accepted his divine commission and returned to Egypt. With his brother Aaron by his side, Moses confronted Pharaoh, demanding the release of the Israelites. Through a series of miraculous plagues, God displayed His power and brought about the eventual liberation of His people.
The story of Moses and the burning bush serves as a testament to God’s faithfulness and His willingness to use ordinary individuals for extraordinary purposes. It teaches us the importance of heeding the call of God, even when faced with uncertainty or doubt. Like Moses, we are reminded that with God’s presence and guidance, we can overcome obstacles and accomplish great things.
The journey of Moses would continue, marked by divine interventions, the giving of the Ten Commandments, and the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. But it all began with a humble shepherd encountering the presence of God in the extraordinary sight of a burning bush.