Exodus 3:11; 4:2 – But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied. (NIV)
The pastor of my new church has been preaching verse by verse through the book of Exodus. I like his expository approach, as it's helped me to examine the Scriptures carefully. In particular, I was struck by the verses in today's passage. All of a sudden, it became very meaningful to me. So I felt compelled to share what I learned in the hope that it will be a blessing to other believers as well.
If you are like me, you will probably relate to Moses' experience. He obviously did not have the confidence to do what God had asked. Most likely, when the Lord inquired what was in his hand, he would have thought, It's only a stick, nothing of real value. But the Scripture reveals that "God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty" (1 Corinthians 1:27b KJV).
Think about the various ways that God was able to use Moses' staff:
- He turned it into a snake as a sign of His power.
- He used it to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage.
- He parted the Red Sea with it.
- He made it provide water in the desert.
- He used it to bring Israel the victory in battle.
There are other examples of this principle throughout the Bible. My favourite is the story of the little boy who offered his lunch: Jesus multiplied his food for everyone in the crowd!
John 6:9-11 – "There's a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?" "Tell everyone to sit down," Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. (NLT)
The Lord may be asking us the same question today: What do you have in your hands? Is it a pen, a tool, or a musical instrument of some kind? Whatever it is, no matter how insignificant, God can take what is ordinary, familiar, or suitable to us, and use it for His glory. First, however, we must submit to His will.
After making excuses and arguing with God, Moses finally learned a lesson in faith. I encourage you to read the narrative in Exodus chapters three and four. Then, picture yourself in the same situation as Moses. How would you respond?
Prayer: Lord God, we acknowledge Your limitless power, wisdom, and love. We humbly give You thanks for allowing us who are inadequate and weak to participate in the work of Your kingdom. May we learn to trust You more every day as we willingly surrender our lives to Your service. Now, let Your name be glorified in us. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.