The scene is set in Exodus 3:10-13 with the call of Moses and Moses’ response, which continues into chapter 4. Excuse after excuse as to why Moses felt unable to do as the Lord had asked.
- Lord I can’t speak properly.
- People won’t accept me. They won’t believe you sent me.
- And, perhaps saddest of all: Maybe you should choose somebody else Lord.
“Choose Someone Else Lord”
Arguing with God is always a lose-lose situation. It isn’t that God is waiting with a big stick to beat you with if you don’t do as He asks. That’s not who God is. Nor is it that God would force us to do anything. But if you refuse to do as He has asked, you may have missed out on the greatest adventure in your walk with God!
If God has asked you to do something, no matter how daunting or unlikely it might seem, be assured that He picked YOU because He knows you, better than anyone else ever has or ever will; better than you even know yourself.
God chose Moses. He wanted Moses. Even after demonstrating His power to Moses to show him how the Lord would be with him, we know from the story in Exodus 4 that Moses still battled with self confidence. He still begged God to “send someone else”. So the Lord, in His infinite mercy, gave him Aaron – not instead of Moses, but to accompany Moses.
Moses Finds His Mojo!
Notice something important here that we could easily miss; At first, all the references to the staff say things like “God said to Moses and Aaron”, “God told Moses, tell Aaron to stretch out his staff, ” and “Aaron stretched out his staff”.
Then, from Exodus 9:23 it looks as though Moses has finally found his confidence! The Lord doesn’t say here, “tell Aaron to stretch out his hand. He tells Moses to do it and Moses does it! No arguing, no self-beating, he just uses what’s in his hand – his staff, and God comes through for him.
“So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth. The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt.”
And by the time we get to – Exodus 17:8-9 Moses is confidently and adeptly using the gift that the Lord has put in his hand as he issues this command to Joshua: “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
Using What God Has Given You
Moses learned to use in confident faith what was in his hand, and his life changed, as did the course of world history.
Moses’ simple shepherd staff was nothing special in itself, it was just a wooden stick. But surrendered to God, this staff was used by God to:
- confront Pharaohs court Exodus 7:10
- turn the waters of Egypt into Blood Exodus 7:19-20
- bring a plagues of gnats and frogs Exodus 8:5-6,17
- bring thunder and hail throughout the land Exodus 9:23
- bring a plague of locusts across the land. Exodus 10:13
- cause the the Red Sea to divide and stand up like a wall Exodus 14:15-16,21
- cause the waters of the Red sea to fall back over Pharaohs armies. Exodus 14:26-27
- bring water out of the rock at Horeb to supply their needs Exodus 17:5-6
- bring victory to his army Exodus 17:8-9
What has God put in YOUR hand?
Sometimes Christians have the misconception that “ministry” equals standing on a platform.
Moses had in his hand the ordinary tool of his daily occupation – a shepherds’ staff.
Most days I can be found in my workshop, making jewellery. Those tools are what are in my hand.
What has God put in your hand?
Do you love to cook? Maybe you could lay an extra place at the dinner table a couple of nights a week and invite single or elderly people from church to join your family dinner time?
Do you like knitting or crocheting? What about starting a needle craft ministry in your church, where you could make blankets for the homeless?
Do you love to chat and find you have a little bit of free time? What about finding out who in your local neighbourhood or church is sick or housebound, and visit them regularly
We can offer to God in faith whatever He has given us, no matter how simple, small or insignificant it may seem to us and God will use it for His Kingdom purposes in ways we cannot even begin to imagine.
Today, will you use what God has put in your hand?
Thats my prayer for myself!