One day when Moses was 80 years old, he was taking care of his father-in-law's sheep. He took the sheep across in wilderness and came to Mount Sinai. There God appeared to him as a flame of fire in a bush. Moses saw a bush that seemed to be on fire and yet it never burned up. So he thought, "I will go over and see why this bush doesn't burn up." When God saw him coming, He called out from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" Moses answered, "Here I am." Then God said "Don't come any closer. Take off your sandals, because the place where you are standing is holy ground. I am the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
And God said, "I have seen the bad things that are happening to my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for help. So I am going to rescue them from Egypt and bring them to a good land, where the Canaanites now live. Go, I am sending you to the king of Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country."
But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I can go to the king of Egypt and lead the Israelites out of Egypt." And God answered, "I will be with you. And you shall bring them to this mountain to worship me."
And Moses said, "What if they ask me, 'What is the name of the God who sent you?' What shall I say?" God said, "I AM WHO I AM. Tell them, 'I AM has sent me to you.' Also say, 'Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever." Now the name "Jehovah," (or as the Jews pronounce it, "Yahweh.") means, "He is!"
Then God said to Moses, "Go and tell the leaders of Israel what I have told you. Then go with them to the king of Egypt and tell him, 'Jehovah, the God of Israel, has met with us. So let us go three days out into the wilderness in order to worship Him.' But I know that he will not listen to you and I will have to force him to let you go."
But Moses said, "What if the people do not believe me and will not listen to me?" So God asked, "What is that in your hand?" "A walking stick," he answered. Then God said, "Throw it on the ground." So Moses threw it down and it turned into a snake. Moses ran from it, but God said, "Pick it up by the tail." When Moses did, it turned back into a walking stick. The God said "Show this to the Israelites to prove to them that the God of their fathers has appeared to you."
God also said, "Put your hand inside your robe." So Moses put his hand inside his robe and when he took it out, it was covered with the disease leprosy, as white as snow. Then God said, "Put your hand in your robe again." He did so, and this time when he took his hand out it was well once again. God said, "If the Israelites will not believe you when you show them these two miracles, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it on the ground. Then the water will turn to blood."
But Moses said, "Don't send me. I'm not a good speaker!" God said, "Who makes a man's mouth anyway? I will help you to speak."
But Moses answered, "Please send someone else." Then God became angry and said, "Your brother Aaron is coming out to meet you. He can speak for you. But take your walking stick and go."
So Moses went to his father-in-law Jethro and said, "Let me go back to my relatives in Egypt to see if they are still alive." Jethro agreed and so Moses started off for the land of Egypt.