“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.
I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’
“This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
“This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’
He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
“But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’
That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.
But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “ ‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide.
New International Version Bible Online)