I think one of the most important words in this verse is the very first one. When. The Hebrew word means “at the same time.” That goes back to verse 3, where Moses said, “I must turn aside.”
When did God speak to Moses? At the same moment when Moses turned aside. Now that’s simple, isn’t it? Moses stopped his forward motion, stepped aside from his responsibilities for only a few brief seconds, and headed in another direction. He moved toward the event that had captured his attention.
And God says, “What’s it going to take? What will finally persuade you to stop in your tracks for a minute, turn aside, and consider this event in your life?” What’s it going to take before you say, “I’m going to check this out. I’m going to find out what all of this might be saying to me.”
Moses did just that, and when he did, he came face to face with his destiny. It was not until Moses turned aside that God spoke. Yet even at that moment, I do not believe it had dawned on the man that God was speaking. As far as Moses was concerned, a bush was speaking. God hadn’t introduced Himself yet. Moses had simply heard his name coming out of a flaming shrub and answered back.
“Moses! Moses!” the voice said.
And do you know what Moses answered? The original Hebrew reveals that he spoke only one word: hinaynee, which could be rendered, “I’m here,” or, in our terms, “It’s me.”
Believe it or not, that’s all God wanted to hear. It’s still true today. That’s all He wants to hear from you when He speaks. Don’t kid yourself; He’s not impressed with you; He’s checking out your humility, your sensitivity, your availability. He’s looking for someone who will slow down long enough to check out a burning bush. And when He calls, all He asks for is a simple acknowledgement. I’m here, Lord. All present and accounted for.