Once, when he was a grown man, he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, and he struck the Egyptian and killed him, for he thought he ought to defend his people: and when he saw that the man was dead, he buried him in the sand. In a day or two Moses tried to make peace between two Hebrews who were fighting, and they answered him roughly, and one of them said:
"Who made thee a ruler over us? wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?"
Then Moses was afraid, and when the king heard of it, and tried to take his life, Moses fled away out of Egypt, through a desert into Midian. There he found a well and sat down by it to rest. While he sat there the seven daughters of the priest of Midian came to draw water for their father's flocks, and some rough shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flocks. When their father knew that a noble stranger had been kind to his daughters, he asked him to come into his house, and eat bread with him, and stay as long as he would. So Moses stayed and Zipporah, one of the seven sisters, became his wife.
But Moses did not forget his people. God was preparing him to lead them out of bondage, and he learned many things, during the years that he kept the sheep of his father-in-law in the wilderness.
One day he led his flocks across the desert to Mount Horeb or Sinai. There he saw a bush all bright within as if it burned. He drew nearer to see why the bush was not consumed, and heard the voice of the Lord calling him. The Lord told him to come no nearer, and to put off his shoes, for he stood on holy ground. Then the Lord told him that He was the God of his fathers, and that He had heard the cry of his oppressed people in Egypt.
"I know their sorrows," said the voice from the midst of the fire, "And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land into a good land, and a large -- unto a land flowing with milk and honey."
Then the Lord said that Moses must go to the new Pharaoh, for the old king was dead, and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses was a very humble man, and he could not believe that Pharaoh would listen to him or that the Hebrews would follow him, but the Lord said,
"Certainly I will be with thee."
And as a sign that it should be so, He said that after Moses had brought his people out of Egypt, they should serve God in this mountain.
But Moses had many fears. He knew that he had been brought up as an Egyptian, and he feared that his people would not listen to his words.
Then the Lord showed signs to Moses to help his faith.
He turned the rod in Moses' hand into a serpent, and then when he was afraid of it, the Lord told him to take it in his hand and it became a rod again.
He also turned his hand white with leprosy, and then changed it again to natural flesh, and told Moses, that these, and other signs he should show in Egypt -- to prove that he was sent of God.
But Moses felt himself to be so weak and faithless as a leader of his people, that he still cried out that he was "slow of speech, and of a slow tongue," and when the Lord said, "I will teach thee what thou shalt say," he did not believe, but begged the Lord to send by whom he would, only not by him.
Then the Lord said that Aaron, the brother of Moses could speak well, and that he should go with him to Pharoah and to his people, and should speak for him, but that the wisdom and power of God should be with Moses, and that he should do wonders with the rod in his hand.