What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?


EXODUS 2:11-15, NIrV

11 Moses grew up. One day, he went out to where his own people were. He watched them while they were hard at work. He saw an Egyptian hitting a Hebrew man. The man was one of Moses’ own people. 12 Moses looked around and didn’t see anyone. So he killed the Egyptian. Then he hid his body in the sand. 13 The next day Moses went out again. He saw two Hebrew men fighting. He asked the one who had started the fight a question. He said, “Why are you hitting another Hebrew man?”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking about killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses became afraid. He thought, “People must have heard about what I did.”

15 When Pharaoh heard about what had happened, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses escaped from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian. There he sat down by a well. 


40 years had passed since baby Moses floated in his boat basket. Now a grownup, Moses was a man of two worlds. He grew up in the palace of the king of Egypt. But he was also an Israelite; his people served as Pharaoh’s slaves. Moses’ two worlds collided when he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite slave. With no one looking, Moses charged in and killed the Egyptian. He hid the body in the sand, but Moses couldn’t hide what he’d done for long. The story of Moses saving a slave soon reached an angry Pharaoh’s ears. So Moses ran away to Midian before he ended up buried in sand, too! 

+ Read Exodus 2:22-25. What happened to Egypt’s king? (vs. 23)

+ When the Israelite slaves groaned, what did God remember? (vs. 23-24)


EXODUS 3:1-10, NIrV

1 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. 2 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. 3 So Moses thought, “I’ll go over and see this strange sight. Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

4 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.

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals. The place you are standing on is holy ground.” 6 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.

7 The Lord said, “I have seen how my people are suffering in Egypt. I have heard them cry out because of their slave drivers. I am concerned about their suffering. 8 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. The Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites live there. 9 And now Israel’s cry for help has reached me. I have seen how badly the Egyptians are treating them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh. I want you to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. They are my people.”


After fleeing from Pharaoh, Moses spent 40 years growing a family and looking after sheep in Midian. The day he went to check out a bush that wouldn’t stop burning, he had absolutely no idea that his quiet shepherd’s life was about to be turned upside down! From the flames of an ever-burning bush, the Lord God spoke a message to Moses. What did he want the old man to know? “Moses, I’m the same God that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob worshiped. I’m going to rescue the people of Israel from their life of slavery in Egypt, and I’m sending you to be the one who leads them out!”

+ What did God first tell Moses to do? Why? (vs. 5)

+ If Moses was 40 when he ran away, then spent 40 years as shepherd in Midian, how old was he when he saw the burning bush?


EXODUS 3:11-17, NIrV

11 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?”

12 God said, “I will be with you. I will give you a 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.”

13 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.’ And suppose they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”

14 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.’ ”

15 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. Call me this name for all time to come.

16 “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. God said, “I have watched over you. I have seen what the Egyptians have done to you. 17 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.” ’


From the burning bush, God gave Moses a huge job: to walk up to Pharaoh, the most powerful man on the planet, and say, “Hey you! God says let your slaves go free!” You can understand why Moses had a million questions! But God had an answer for them all. Moses asked, “How can a nobody like me do such a big job?” and God answered, “I’ll be with you and bring you right back to this mountain.” Moses asked, “What if the Israelites ask what your name is?” and God answered, “Tell them my name is 'I Am Who I Am.' Tell them that I am the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

+ Why did Moses have so many questions for God?

+ Besides his name, what else did God want Moses to tell the Israelites? (vs. 16-17)


EXODUS 3:18-22, NIRV

18 “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.’ 19 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. 20 So I will reach out my hand. I will strike the Egyptians with all the amazing things I will do. After that, their king will let you go.

21 “I will cause the Egyptians to treat you in a kind way. Then when you leave, you will not go with your hands empty. 22 Every woman should ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for things 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.”


When God told Moses to march up to the leader of the mightiest army on the planet and say, “Pharaoh, please let my people go,” God didn’t wonder, “Hmm... I wonder what Pharaoh will say?” No, he knew how the whole story would end before it even started! To calm Moses’ worried heart, God gave him a peek into the future: Pharaoh’s answer would be a big, fat “No!” But God planned to show this stubborn king who was in charge. He would send wonder after wonder until old Pharaoh changed his mind. And as the Israelites left, the Egyptians would shower them with expensive gifts!

+ How is it possible that God knew what Pharaoh was going to do before he did it?

+ What types of treasures would the Egyptians give to the Israelites as they left? (vs. 22)



1 Moses answered, “What if the elders of Israel won’t believe me? What if they won’t listen to me? Suppose they say, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you.’ Then what should I do?”

2 The Lord said to him, “What do you have in your hand?”

“A walking stick,” he said.

3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”

So Moses threw it on the ground. It turned into a snake. He ran away from it. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach your hand out. Take the snake by the tail.” So he reached out and grabbed the snake. It turned back into a walking stick in his hand. 5 The Lord said, “When they see this sign, they will believe that I appeared to you. I am the Lord, the God of their fathers. I am the God of Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. And I am the God of Jacob.”

6 Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took it out, the skin had become as white as snow. His hand was covered with a skin disease.

7 “Now put it back into your coat,” the Lord said. So Moses put his hand back into his coat. When he took it out, the skin was healthy again. His hand was like the rest of his skin.

8 Then the Lord said, “Suppose they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign. Then maybe they will believe the second one. 9 But suppose they do not believe either sign. Suppose they will not listen to you. Then get some water from the Nile River. Pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will turn into blood on the ground.”


God told Moses what to do: “Tell Pharaoh to let my people go.” God told Moses what would happen: “Pharaoh will say no, but my wonders will change his mind.” Despite all that, Moses kept coming up with reasons not to obey God! He asked, “What if they don’t believe you sent me?” But for every one of Moses' excuses, God had an answer. He gave Moses three miracles to do in front of his people: turning a staff into a snake, healing a diseased hand, and turning water into blood (gross!). When the Israelites saw Moses do the impossible, they would know for sure he’d been sent by God.

+ What happened after Moses’ staff turned into a snake? (vs. 3-4)

+ What happened the two times Moses put his hand in his cloak? (vs. 6-7)


EXODUS 4:10-20, NIRV

10 Moses spoke to the Lord. He said, “Lord, I’ve never been a good speaker. And I haven’t gotten any better since you spoke to me. I don’t speak very well at all.”

11 The Lord said to him, “Who makes human beings able to talk? Who makes them unable to hear or speak? Who makes them able to see? Who makes them blind? It is I, the Lord. 12 Now go. I will help you speak. I will teach you what to say.”

13But Moses said, “Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

14 Then the Lord became very angry with Moses. He said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you. He will be glad to see you. 15 Speak to him. Tell him what to say. I will help both of you speak. I will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you. He will be like your mouth. And you will be like God to him. 17 But take this walking stick in your hand. You will be able to do signs with it.”

18 Then Moses went back to his father-in-law Jethro. He said to him, “Let me return to my own people in Egypt. I want to see if any of them are still alive.”

Jethro said, “Go. I hope everything goes well with you.”

19 The Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt. All those who wanted to kill you are dead.” 20 So Moses got his wife and sons. He put them on a donkey. Together they started back to Egypt. And he took the walking stick in his hand. It was the stick God would use in a powerful way.


Ever since God told him to head to Egypt and rescue his people, Moses had transformed from an ordinary shepherd into an excuse-making machine! He asked “Who am I?” and “What if they won’t believe me?” Moses was trying his best to convince God to just pick someone else. God had an answer for each of Moses’ questions, but the 80-year-old shepherd decided to try one last excuse.

Moses told God, “I’m not a good speaker.” Was this piece of information a surprise to God? Of course not – God was the one who made Moses' mouth! And if God had the power to turn a staff into a snake, he could easily use Moses’ mouth to speak a message to Pharaoh. 

With no excuses left, Moses gave up and said, “Please send someone else!” Do you think that was a good thing to say when God asks you to do something? No way! However, though Moses’ words made him angry, God was patient and kind with the old shepherd. He said, “Your brother Aaron is already on his way to see you. He can do the talking for you.” Now totally out of excuses, Moses packed up his family and headed to Egypt, on a journey to tell the most powerful man in the world to let all his slaves go free!

It’s easy for us to look back at Moses and give him a hard time for all his excuse-making. After all, we can flip a few pages ahead in our Bibles and see that Moses had no reason to worry at all. His rescue mission to Egypt turned out to be a smashing success! But Moses didn’t have a chance to read how his story ended ahead of time. Instead, he just had God’s promise that everything was going to work out. And boy, he had a very hard time believing it!

You and I don’t know the twists and turns of our own stories, either. But the Bible is filled with true tales of those who lived long before us. As we learn about how God kept his promises and saved his people, it should encourage us that he’ll do the same for you and me!

Just like God had a plan to rescue the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, he also had a plan to rescue people like you and me. And we need to be rescued from something much worse than slavery – sin! Why is sin so bad? Because the punishment for sin (breaking God’s commands) is a forever fiery death outside of God’s good kingdom!

To save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God sent Moses from the far-off place of Midian. To save you and me from our sins, God sent his Son Jesus from someplace even more far off: heaven! And Jesus’ mission was a smashing success! He died on a cross to pay the punishment for our sins, then amazingly rose to life three days later!

+ Who was Aaron? What was he going to do for Moses? (vs. 14-15)

+ What did God tell Moses to take with him to Egypt? Why? (vs. 17)

© 2023 Andrew Doane. All rights reserved.