All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Humbled for Service
Based on Exodus 3–4

Moses wrongly assumes God will liberate the Hebrews by force, and by killing the Egyptian he demonstrates he isn’t ready for his great work. He hasn’t learned enough patience and obedience to temper his actions, so for 40 years he lives amid the solitude of the mountains and learns much as a shepherd. Self-denial and discipline are developed under harsh conditions and bring out tender care for his sheep.These lessons also make him longsuffering—so much so that the Bible says he’s “very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” Numbers 12:3.

Holy Ground

While tending his father-in-law’s sheep near Mount Horeb (also called Mount Sinai), Moses suddenly notices an unusual sight—a blazing bush that doesn’t burn up! As he draws near, God calls out from the fire, p “Moses, Moses!” then orders him to remove his sandals, for the ground he stands on is holy. Moses immediately obeys and hides his face for fear of seeing God and losing his life!

“I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” the Lord continues. “I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Moses, the self-assured man who would deliver his people by force now shows timidity, asking how he should respond when his people ask who God is.

“I AM WHO I AM,” God responds. “You shall say ‘I AM has sent me,’ ” then adds, “They will heed your voice.”

“I AM” comes from the verbal root “to be” and expresses God’s true nature—the eternally present, self-existing, and personal One.


Although Moses argues that his people may not believe him, God shows His great patience by giving him three signs.

Since the rod and cobra are both symbols of Pharaoh’s authority and deity, God uses these as a first sign. Instructing Moses to throw his rod on the ground, it becomes a snake. Then God instructs him to pick it up by the tail (a very daring act!); it becomes a rod again.

As a second sign, Moses is told to slip his hand in and out of his garment, and it becomes white with leprosy; but when this act is repeated, his hand is healed! The Hebrews understand leprosy as punishment of presumptuous pride—something Moses’ sister Miriam will experience firsthand later on!

For a third sign, Moses is told to take water from the Nile and pour it on the ground where it will become blood.

However, the excuses continue when Moses claims he’s not eloquent and slow of speech (possibly because he’s not spoken Egyptian for 40 years). But God responds, “Who has made man’s mouth?”

God’s Anger

With all his excuses shot down, Moses finally reveals his distrust of God by saying (literally), “Oh my Lord, send I pray some other person.”

God has given him multiple assurances, and now His anger is kindled! But despite this, God works with his unwilling servant, telling him that his brother Aaron is already on his way to speak for him.

At this point Moses is finally humbled into silence—very much like Job and Jonah. He is finally ready to lead his people out of bondage!

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Was I spinning? It must have worked.

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