Moses was asked to take off his sandals by God, Exodus 3:4-22 & 4:1-17


God spoke to Moses to take off his sandals as the place where he was standing was holy ground.

God gave Moses a commission: “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Moses’ call came to him from God towards the end of his forty years in Midian.

Moses was a sheepherder very hard and often lonely job.

Background Reading:

God Called Moses and said Take of Your Sandals

3:4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from the center of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

He said, “Here I am.”

5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The LORD said, “I have certainly seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their cry caused by their slave masters. I really do understand their pain, 8 so I have come down to deliver them from their domination by the Egyptians and to bring them out of that land to a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the territory of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now, listen carefully! The cry of the Israelis has come to my attention about how severely the Egyptians have been oppressing them. 10 So go! I am sending you to Pharaoh. Bring my people the Israelis out of Egypt.”

11 But Moses told God, “Who am I? How can I go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelis out of Egypt?”

12 Then God said, “I certainly will be with you. And this will be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, all of you will serve God on this mountain.”

13 Moses told God, “Look! When I go to the Israelis and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors sent me to you,’ they’ll say to me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I say to them?”

14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM,” and then said, “Tell the Israelis: ‘I AM sent me to you.’”

15 God also told Moses, “Tell the Israelis, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and this is how I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

16 “Go and gather the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘The LORD God of your ancestors, appeared to me—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—and he said, “I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 I have said that I will bring you out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites—to a land flowing with milk and honey.”’

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you,l and then you and they are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now, let us take a three-day journey into the desert to sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ 19 I know that the king of Egypt won’t allow you to go unless compelled to do so by force, 20 so I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders that I will do there. After that he will release you. 21 I will grant this people public favor with the Egyptians, and as a result, when you leave you won’t go empty-handed. 22 Each woman is to ask her neighbor or any foreign woman in her house for articles of gold and for clothing, and use them to clothe your sons and daughters. You will plunder the Egyptians.”
Exodus 3:4-22


Moses Argues with God – Signs for Moses

4:1 Then Moses answered, “Look, they won’t believe me and they won’t listen to me. Instead, they’ll say, ‘The LORD didn’t appear to you.’”

2 “What’s that in your hand?” the LORD asked him.

Moses answered, “A staff.”

3 Then God said, “Throw it to the ground.” He threw it to the ground and it became a snake. Moses ran away from it.

4 Then God told Moses, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So he reached out, grabbed it, and it became a staff in his hand. 5 God said, “I’ve done this so that they may believe that the LORD God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

6 Again the LORD told him, “Put your hand into your bosom.” He put his hand into his bosom and as soon as he brought it out it was leprous, like snow. 7 Then God said, “Put your hand back into your bosom.” He returned it to his bosom and as soon as he brought it out, it was restored like the rest of his skin.

8 “Then if they don’t believe you and respond to the first sign, they may respond to the second sign. 9 But if they don’t believe even these two signs, and won’t listen to you, then take some water out of the Nile River and pour it on the dry ground. The water you took from the Nile River will turn into blood on the dry ground.”

10 Then Moses told the LORD, “Please, LORD, I’m not eloquent. I never was in the past nor am I now since you spoke to your servant. In fact, I talk too slowly and I have a speech impediment.”

11 Then God asked him, “Who gives a person a mouth? Who makes him unable to speak, or deaf, or able to see, or blind, or lame? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now, go! I myself will help you with your speech, and I’ll teach you what you are to say.”

13 Moses said, “Please, LORD, send somebody else.”

14 Then the LORD was angry with Moses and said, “There is your brother Aaron, a descendant of Levi, isn’t there? I know that he certainly is eloquent. Right now he’s coming to meet you and he will be pleased to see you. 15 You’re to speak to him and tell him what to say. I’ll help both you and him with your speech, and I’ll teach both of you what you are to do. 16 He is to speak to the people for you as your spokesman and you are to act in the role of God for him. 17 Now pick up that staff with your hand. You’ll use it to perform the signs.”
Exodus 4:1-17

Other modules in this unit: