Summary: God has asked Moses an important (and prophetic) question that I would suggest He is asking each of us today. “What is that in your hand?”

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Count your blessings

Name them one by one.

Count your blessings

See what God has done.

What a sweet and melodic chorus that we all have sung many times?

We know these words to be so true.

Don’t we?

There are times (in our lives) when those words become so real to us.

And there are other times when all we want to count on is –

· How many times someone has failed us, or hurt us?

· How many times a promise has been made but not kept?

We remind ourselves that we have done all we know to do. We become frustrated with something or someone and we tell ourselves there really is nothing else we can do.

How often do we say to ourselves,

“It’s out of my hands!”

To help us to better understand some of our frustrations, I want to consider the man of God named, Moses.

Most of us are familiar with his story.

Moses’ life can be divided into 3 periods of time of 40 years.

1. The first 40 years were spent in the palace of the king of Egypt (the place of pomp & privilege).

2. The next 40 years were spent in the wilderness as a shepherd (place of preparation).

3. The last 40 were spent leading the children to the Promised Land (place of perseverance).

I want us to look at one incident that occurred during the time when Moses was a shepherd. In the 3rd and 4th chapters of Exodus, we’re told how Moses led a flock of sheep that belonged to his father-in-law, Jethro.

Moses walked along, leaning on his staff, picking his way through the rough terrain of Mt. Horeb.

Occasionally, Moses would prod the sheep that had strayed from the path with the staff/rod in his hand.

Suddenly an angel of God appeared to Moses out of a burning bush.

God spoke to Moses and told him that he would (one day) lead the children of Israel out of slavery.

Moses protested and gave God 4 reasons why he wouldn’t be able to:

(1) Unworthy – he was a murderer

(2) Ignorant – no godly training

(3) lacked the eloquence of being able to speak

(4) no one would believe him.

Basically Moses said,


You see, Moses knew he had already done all he could do. He gave up.

Moses had tried once before and failed. As far as Moses was concerned, saving his friends and loved ones from the tyranny of Egyptian slavery was out of his hands.

The Lord was patient with Moses, and continued to persuade Moses that he was just the right shepherd for the job.

Text: Exodus 4:1 thru 5 (NIV)

In our text, we see God reassuring Moses with an extraordinary miracle.

God has asked Moses an important (and prophetic) question that I would suggest He is asking each of us today.

“What is that in your hand?”

For Moses, it was his staff – just an ordinary shepherd’s staff which he had used for the past 40 years.

God told Moses to throw it down.

When Moses did, it turned into a snake.

The Bible says, “Moses ran from it.” That makes sense. You would too!

In our text, I see a frail man that God wants to use. This morning (in fact), I see lots of frail men and women, boys and girls that God wants to use.

God’s House is full of frail & frightened folks that God wants to use.

It’s okay to admit you are afraid, and haven’t quite got it all together.

We know that Moses ran, but he must have come back.

So you see - you are a lot like Moses.

You keep coming back here. I sure am glad you didn’t run off and not come back. I think you and I both know that God’s not threw with you.

People get scared of the miracles of God sometimes and run off. And a lot of times they find their way back.

There are some people who are afraid of what God may want.

Consider this - God then told Moses to pick the snake up by the tail. I gotta’ tell you - that’s not the way I would have done it. I would have taken another rod and beat that snake silly.

But Moses did what God told him to do. When he did, the snake turned back into a staff. It was miraculous!

Moses experienced/sensed the trustworthiness of God’s Holy Word.

What God says is always true.

God will always be patient with you and I and helps us to grow in His faith.

God delights in operating in the miraculous and in the supernatural.

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