Among the places that Moses grazed flocks was Mt. Horeb (Mt. Sinai). It was at this location that he saw a bush on fire. The odd thing about this was that as the flames rose from the bush, it was not consumed by the fire. As Moses turned to investigate this phenomenon, God called him from the burning bush.
The Lord identified Himself and stated that He had heard the cry of His people in Egypt and was ready to deliver them to a land flowing with milk and honey. “Come now, therefore and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.”
Moses promptly began to make excuses. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh…” God said that He would be with him.
Moses was concerned how he would answer the people when they asked who had sent him. God said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God is everlastingly present. There is no past nor future tense with Him.
“But suppose they will not believe me…?” God asked, “What is that in your hand?” Moses only had a rod, but God used it to show His power. What do we have in our hands that can be used to serve God?
Moses then stated, “…but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Again, God assured him that He would be with him and teach him what to say.
God answered all of Moses’ excuses with a solution to his problems. Moses was still not convinced. He then suggested that God send someone else. Does that sound like us? In His anger, God gave him his brother, Aaron to be his spokesman.
God has an answer for our excuses. We each have abilities, however slight or great and He expects us to use them in His kingdom.
Having exhausted all of his excuses, God assured Moses that all who sought his life were dead and that he would be safe. He took leave from his father-in-law, Jethro and returned with his family to Egypt.
Aaron, at the command of God met Moses at Horeb and the two of them proceeded to meet with the elders of the children of Israel. They explained with words and signs that the Lord was going to deliver them. “Then they bowed their heads and worshiped.”
For the first time in forty years, Moses, along with Aaron, his mouthpiece is in the king’s presence. The previous Pharaoh had died and another king was ruling Egypt. As Moses and Aaron presented God’s case, “Let My people go…” to the king, he said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.”
This was not the reaction that Moses wanted to hear. Pharaoh, himself was considered to be a god. He surely was not ready to allow his slaves to take off from work to worship another god. Instead of allowing Moses’ request, Pharaoh increased the labor of the Israelites because, “They are idle…” The taskmasters previously had been furnishing straw for their bricks, but now the Israelites were required to furnish their own straw and continue to make the same number of bricks daily.
Directly over the working people were Israelite officers, who were responsible to the taskmasters. These officers went to Pharaoh and complained about their new working conditions, but to no avail. As they were leaving the king, they met Moses and Aaron and blamed them for their increased persecution.