The pasuk says in 3:4 : “וירא ה’ כי סר לראות ויקרא אליו אלוקים מתוך הסנה” – “The Lord saw that he had turned to look, and G-d called to him from within the thorn bush”
Moshe Rabbeinu was chosen by Hashem as our leader at the age of 80. It was after Moshe had reached heights that had never before been reached, on his own merit, and had developed the qualities necessary to lead Klal Yisrael out of the גלות – exile.
In fact the Meshech Chochma in his introduction to Sefer Shemos writes that at Har Sinai Moshe Rabbeinu was so elevated that he lost his free will and became something resembling an angel. This was accomplished through his crystal clear understanding of Hashem, as it were. Before this, Moshe was an ordinary man who achieved the extraordinary.
The Torah is short when relating the stories of Moshe before he was chosen. What is the common denominator between the three stories we are told about Moshe Rabbeinu? What is the thread that connects the killing of the Egyptian, to his reprimanding of a Jew, to the help Moshe gave to the 7 daughters of Yisro? Surely if these are the only stories the Torah relates to us about the history of our leader, a message is being taught about the qualities a person must have to be a good leader.
In all 3 episodes Moshe is shown to ‘care’ to step in to a fight that was not his, and to help the weak. When Moshe Rabbeinu saw a Jew being hit, or even gentiles being mistreated he would take action at his own risk. This was his quality and consequently the first trait to look for when selecting a leader. Maybe this is the meaning of the Pasuk:
“וירא ה’ כי סר לראות ויקרא אליו אלוקים מתוך הסנה” – “Hashem saw that Moshe would ‘turn and look’ – ‘כי סר לראות‘ – that is why Hashem chose Moshe as our leader.
But Moshe’s response to turn down the offer to save and redeem the Jews, is seemingly out of character and contradictory to the very reason why he was chosen. So why did he react like that?
It seems that Moshe Rabbeinu was on an even greater level. Moshe, when he helped people, had no ulterior motives, no self-interest. So when Moshe was asked to accept the title of leadership along with all the honor it carries he turned it down. Moshe was a natural helper, a complete giver, he wanted nothing for himself in return. This is the true quality of leader this is exactly what the Bnei Yisrael needed to take them out of Egypt into Eretz Yisrael.
Moshe’s protests were somewhat accepted when Aharon was given the job as the spokesperson of the nation.