“What’s in your Hand?”
It’s the question God asked of Moses in Exodus chapter 4. Moses wanted to know what he should do if he followed God’s directions to take Israel’s deliverance to them, and they didn’t believe that the Lord had sent him?
The Lord asked him, “What is that in your Hand?”
“A staff.” Moses answered. Then he (God) said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail”–so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand–“that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” (verses 2-5)
Moses had every excuse in the book. God listened to them, growing impatient when Moses finally admitted the reason for all his “beating around the bush”. He just wanted God to send someone else.
Stephen gives us insight into Moses’s response in the book of Acts when he states that,
“when he (Moses) was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his brethren, the sons of Israel. And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended him and took vengeance for the oppressed by striking down the Egyptian. And he supposed that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him, but they did not understand.” Acts 7:23-25
His Israelite brothers certainly didn’t see him as their redeemer at that time, and he had run for his life, living as a shepherd among the people of Midian for some 40 years.
Now God wanted to send Moses back to Egypt and to his people, but his pride had been wounded, he had a family in Midian, and he was content with his life. He hadn’t been able to lead the Israelites to their salvation 40 years earlier, so why would they listen to him now? Send someone else!
Have you ever felt that God has given you a passion for something, but you doubted you could really do the thing your heart dreamt? Perhaps it made no sense to you. Perhaps the timing was all wrong, and falling on your face, you were afraid to try again? I think that is what happened to Moses. He knew his calling, but he didn’t wait for God. He needed some humility. This was God’s show, and God was going to get the credit for what happened next.
God had a plan, and made sure Moses was prepared. Growing up in the home of the Pharaoh, he knew what the royal family was about, was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and Stephen goes on to tell us in the book of Acts that he was a man of power in words and deeds. (Verse 22) Extrabiblical records tell that he was a brilliant strategist, leading the Egyptian army to victory against the Ethiopians army before the age of 30. And Moses said he couldn’t speak very well! 😀
In addition to all of that, he was born a Hebrew and had a brother willing to be his helper, he was a shepherd who was used to leading a flock, and while I’m sure he had many other attributes we know nothing about, he had learned his lesson about humility. Numbers 12:3 tells us that Moses was a humble man, “more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” How would you like to put that on your resume`? This is likely why God was willing to speak through Moses.
God didn’t need Moses, but He chose to allow him to participate in the grand plan, an honor you and I also have today. Jesus commanded us to take the gospel into all the world. It starts right here in our homes, our neighborhoods, the workplace–everywhere you step the light of God goes with you.
God told Moses that He would go with him (Exodus 4:12), and you and I have an even better arrangement. If you are a redeemed child of God, you have His Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and he has promised to teach you the words that you should speak! (Luke 12:12)
God has provided you with the Fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23). He has given you spiritual gifts which the Holy Spirit gives as He wills (1 Cor. 12). He knows the plans He has for you, and even if you are unaware of what your gifts are, they will be available for you just when you need each one. He has allowed you to have experiences that have prepared you for the next step, and will have other people in place to partner with you as you have need. He has given you preferences and talents that will come in handy along the way, resources and tools which you will appreciate when they are needed. He hasn’t left out a single detail. All that is left is your willing spirit. God will lead you to the right place at the right time, and you can watch Him work.
Is God calling you to teach release time at a school near you? Or teach piano lessons to children who He will one day use to touch the hearts of audiences far and wide?
Is He calling you to volunteer at a Christian camp? Or spend time with a child who is growing up in a single parent home?
Is He calling you into a relationship where you can mentor someone younger than you? Or tugging on your heart to give extra to missions?
To teach a ladies Bible class? Or give your car away?
Are you, like Katie Davis, being drawn to care for a people far away?
We won’t all have to travel far, and most of us will not have to wander the desert with the ones we touch, but there is a whole wide world of captives who need to be brought out.
SO, what’s in your hand?
Explore your spiritual gifts @ www.spiritualgiftstest.com
A Man of Selfless Dedication, Moses by Charles R. Swindoll
Just Do Something, A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung and Joshua Harris