Summary: God uses the ordinary. We don’t always understand it, and though we might agree that we ourselves are ordinary, we hesitate when we consider that God could use us.Selected events from the life of Moses can show us some of the ways God uses what we conside

How God Uses The Ordinary

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Selected passages from the Life of Moses

by S. M. Henriques

Bethlehem Baptist Church

Benton, Mississippi

When you woke up this morning, you may have thought about the day ahead of you. It may have occurred to you that this was Sunday, and that it was probably going to be just another ordinary, hot, sleepy, August Sunday, like dozens of others before. But if you will listen carefully, I will show you how this ordinary Sunday can become extraordinary.

January 6, 1850, was bitterly cold in Colchester, England, a hard-biting blizzard keeping most worshipers at home. At the Primitive Methodist Chapel on Artillery Street only about a dozen showed up. When it became apparent that even the pastor would not arrive, an unlettered man rose and spoke haltingly from Isaiah 45:22, Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Then the crowd dispersed, thinking the day’s service a loss—not realizing that a fifteen-year-old boy had ducked into the room to escape the snowstorm, and, hearing the sermon, had been converted.

Years later that boy, Charles Spurgeon, wrote: “Don’t hold back because you cannot preach in St. Paul’s; be content to talk to one or two in a cottage. You may cook in small pots as well as in big ones. Little pigeons can carry great messages. Even a little dog can bark at a thief, wake up the master, and save the house.… Do what you do right thoroughly, pray over it heartily, and leave the result to God.” (Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations and Quotes)

Read with me from the Word of God:

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Yes, God uses the ordinary. We don’t always understand it, and though we might agree that we ourselves are ordinary, we hesitate when we consider that God could use us. We don’t picture ourselves as being another Apostle Paul or Billy Graham, so the idea of being used by God makes us feel rather uncomfortable.

How does God use the ordinary? Selected events from the life of Moses can show us some of the ways God uses what we consider to be ordinary.


While tending the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro, Moses carried in his hand a rod, probably a shepherd’s staff. In Exodus, when we first discover that fact, that rod is referred to as the “rod of Moses.” But when God used that ordinary rod to teach Moses His plan, that rod is then called “the rod of God.” That ordinary rod was used by God to meet the needs of the Israelite people. Consider the ten plagues in Egypt, and remember that five of the ten occurred when Moses lifted that walking stick into the air.

Remember how the Israelites were fleeing from before Pharaoh and were trapped by the body of water known as the Red Sea. It was the rod of God which Moses lifted to part the waters so the people could cross. It was the rod of God which Moses held in his hand when he struck the rock in the desert so that water came gushing forth.

It was an ordinary rod, made of wood, fashioned for a specific purpose. It didn’t have any jewels on it. There was no elaborate ornamentation on it. It was never owned by a king or queen. But God used this ordinary rod to meet the needs of His people in their exodus from Egypt.

In the New Testament, it was an ordinary boy who gave the Lord five ordinary loaves of bread and two ordinary fish to feed the five thousand men. With this ordinary food, Jesus met the needs of the people gathered to hear Him teach. The wood used to fashion the cross on which Christ died was a common Roman cross, but after it was used by God, it became known as the cross of Christ.

When we were expecting the birth of our daughter, it became more and more apparent that the rickety, slippery, uneven steps to our mobile home were inadequate and unsafe for Mary Ann’s use. One of our neighbors needed a porch just as we did, and it was decided that we would help each other build the two porches. Our neighbor bought the wood for his porch, and the bill came to nearly $100. Since I was in seminary, Mary Ann and I did not have that kind of money, even for something so necessary. While we were building my neighbor’s porch, someone stopped by, and told me of a company which threw away the wood used for shipping crates. I could have it if I picked it up. I did, and what cost my neighbor $100 to build cost me $10.95, which included a new hammer handle and a fiberglass roof! God used an ordinary person, and ordinary shipping crates, to meet our need.

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