Moses 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.
There 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.
So Moses thought, "I'll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn't the bush burn up?"
The 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.
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground."
He 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.
The LORD said, "I have seen my people suffer in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering.
"So 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. It is the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.
"And now Israel's cry for help has reached me. I have seen the way the Egyptians are beating them down.
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people."
But 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?"
God said, "I will be with you. I will give you a miraculous 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."
Moses 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.' Suppose they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what should I tell them?"
God 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.' "
God 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. Remember me by that name for all time to come.
"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. " 'He said, "I have watched over you. I have seen what the Egyptians have done to you.
I 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." '
"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.'
"But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you and your people go. Only a mighty hand could make him do that.
So I will reach my hand out. I will strike the Egyptians with all kinds of miracles. After that, he will let you go.
"I will cause the Egyptians to treat you in a kind way. Then when you leave, you will not go out with your hands empty.
Every woman should ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles 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."