The reading is the beginning of the call of Moses to be God’s agent in leading the people out of Egypt. Up to this point, Moses was probably a lot like us: he may have believed in God but hadn’t really been involved with God, had no real experience with God. We can fall into that same lack of real commitment.
Have you ever thought how traumatic it would be if God suddenly spoke to you? The reaction in the Bible is always one of fear. That’s why “spirits” always begin by telling the person to whom they appear: “Peace,” or “Do not be afraid.” The story goes that when filming the “Ten Commandments” De Mille and the crew went to the Monastery of St. Catherine (said to be at the foot of Mount Sinai) and met with the Abbot. In the course of the discussion at supper, Charlton Heston made the case that it should be His voice that comes from the burning bush (De Mille had wanted to do the voice himself). Heston’s reasoning was that the voice better not be so overwhelming as to frighten Moses away. The Abbot agreed with Heston, and it was Heston’s voice from the burning bush in the movie. When God speaks to us, He often uses other people to do it, people who won’t frighten us. We need to hear God in the familiar and little things in life. Perhaps, he speaks to us more often than we realize! We need to learn to discern “His voice.”