Remember when God called to Moses from the burning bush and Moses was out taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep when he heard the voice calling to him from the burning bush. God called Moses to go to Egypt and deliver the Israelites from their slavery. When God called Moses, He didn’t call a preacher. No, Moses wasn’t a preacher, politician, local hero or even popular, he was just your normal, average, working class, everyday guy. He was a hard worker who was very average and ordinary and that’s why when God called to Moses, it was such a surprise because Moses left Egypt almost 40 years prior. He really didn’t know anybody there anymore and he was getting older for a sudden career change and not only that, how was he going to make a living?
Moses had the same kinds of questions and doubts most people have and most people are definitely just your average, everyday people. Not dumb, not geniuses and not super-saints, not poor and by no means rich. Just like many of us are today, that’s how Moses was then. Moses was afraid of rejection and that people wouldn’t listen to him because of his past and just because of who he was, almost like, where did he get off telling the them what to do. That was probably his main and biggest fear. The other part of his fear was fear of the future and what would happen when they didn’t listen to him? What if they beat him up or went broke or laughed at him? Interestingly, God doesn’t spend any time dealing with Moses’ past history or his fear of the future. In Exodus 4:2, God asks Moses a question seemingly out of left field, “What is that in thine hand?”
God’s question was used to turn Moses away from tomorrow’s fears and God knew that if you focus on your past, you’ll never do today what you need to do today. You can miss out on what you’re supposed to do today, if you lose yourself in fears about tomorrow. You need to deal with today, so you’ll have a workable tomorrow to deal with, when tomorrow gets here. It’s easy to get caught up in tomorrow’s problems like will the economy collapse, will I go broke, will I lose my job or can I even pay my bills? If so, I’d better not do too much for Jesus, so they won’t notice me and will I live to see my children grow up? You can’t answer even one of those questions. Not one. That’s why God turned Moses to the one question he could answer right now. “What is that in thine hand?” Not a tough question, not hard at all. God, of course, already knew the answer to the question and it wasn’t that God couldn’t figure out what Moses was holding or like God had never seen a shepherd’s staff before and was confused.
No, God’s question was to show Moses that even something as common and ordinary as a stick could be transformed into something amazing. God was getting ready to transform Moses’ life from just going through the motions of the daily grind, to living life filled with purpose and meaning. He was put on the earth to do more than watch a few sheep and die out in the desert. By the way, do you know how the great hunter, fighter and frontiers-man Daniel Boone died? Eaten by a bear? Shot to death by bandits? Or, even old age, surrounded by his heroic sons, daughters and brave grandchildren? No. The great and legendary explorer, Daniel Boone died September 26, 1820 from indigestion after eating too many sweet potatoes.
That’s how he died and seems like an unworthy death, doesn’t it? I wonder how Heaven looks down on how we live – and how we die – and think how the little things that take us out are unworthy of us. Moses couldn’t think of anything of value that he had to offer for God’s service. He figured he was just too average and ordinary, just a working guy who made his living with a stick, herding sheep. God wanted to show Moses that even a stick could work miracles, if it was yielded to God. In verse 3, God tells Moses to cast his stick on the ground and he did, and it became a serpent and Moses fled from it. The thing that supports you, the thing that you depend on, can also destroy you. That’s the lesson here. You trust it, but it has the power to bite you and God had to make Moses realize it. If you hang on to what you have in the natural, it can destroy you. Then, God told Moses to catch the serpent by the tail, to get hold of it. When he did, it became a stick again. The reason your life’s working at all right now is because of the goodness of God operating in your life and that’s the lesson. It’s not you that’s making it work, it’s the goodness of God.
Here’s proof: In verse 6, God tells Moses to put his hand on his heart, inside his robe and when he took his hand out, it was covered with leprosy ad God said for him to do the same thing again and when he pulled it out, it was healed again. Just a reminder to Moses that the power to turn the serpent back into a harmless stick again wasn’t because of power in Moses’ hand. No, it was the power of GOD operating through Moses’ hand and Moses never forgot that lesson. He kept the lesson and kept the stick. That stick was used to demonstrate the power of God for years and in Exodus 14:16, it was used to divide the Red Sea and it was the means for thousands of people to escape destruction by the Egyptians. Later, in Exodus 17:5-5, God used the same stick to bring water from a rock, when the people were dying of thirst. Moses had another problem which was, he wasn’t very good at talking to people and in verse 10, he says, “God, I am not eloquent. I never have been talking to me.” God answers Moses in verses 11-12 by saying, “Who made your mouth? No, go and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what to say.”
God compensates for your inadequacies and he makes up for your weakness and lack of abilities. In verse 16, “I will be with thy mouth.” Verse 17, “Take this rod in thine hand.” Moses already had what he needed for God to use him in life and what he needed was to give them to God. The point is, give God what you have and He’ll use it in your hands. You’ll never live the life you were born for if you don’t yield your abilities and assets to God. He can do more with what have than you can. What’s in your hand? Give it to God and live, go forward and even die in a manner worthy of you and in a way that all Heaven stands up and takes notice.
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