Summary: We hold in our hands those things which God can use to advance His kingdom.

The Rod of God

Exodus 4:1-12

1 Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ’The LORD did not appear to you’?"

2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied.

3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it.

4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.

5 "This," said the LORD, "is so 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."

6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.

7 "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.

9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?

12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

God had given Moses his marching orders, but Moses was still reluctant. And so God asked Moses (vs.2), a simple question, the result of which became the turning point in Moses’ life. God asked, “Moses, what is that in your hand?” Moses replied, “A rod.”

Now a shepherd’s rod was a simple thing—a wooden stick about 6 feet long. It was his tool—a symbol of his work, his life.

God said, “Cast it on the ground.” Moses did and the rod turned into a snake. God had Moses pick it up again and it turned back into a rod. From the ordinary to the glorious. That’s what God can do with whatever we have—if we give it to God!

Instead of waving it to redirect straying sheep, it would be lifted high and provide the motivation to courageously fight to bring victory.

PRINCIPLE: There are things in our possession that have the potential to be serpents or instruments of blessings. In our hands these things can be deadly—when given back to God they can bring deliverance to many.

 A plain bar of iron is worth $5.00

 When made into a horse shoe it can be worth about $50

 When made into needles this same bar can make as many as $5,000 worth

 When made into springs for Swiss watches, this bar of iron could be worth as much as $500,000.

It all depends on how it is used!

Let’s think together about some “Rods” that God has places in your hands.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Moses. His life can be divided into 3 equal portions of 40 years each. The first 40 were spent in the palace of the king of Egypt (the place of privilege).

The next 40 years were spent in the wilderness as a shepherd (place of preparation). The last 40 were spent leading the children to the Promised Land (place of perseverance).

What we’re going to do now is 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 that one day Moses led the flock belonging to his father-in-law through the sparse grazing lands up alongside of Mt. Horeb. As he plodded along leaning on his staff, picking his way over rough terrain, he would occasionally prod a reluctant sheep and re-direct a straying one with the rod in his hand.

Suddenly an angel of God appeared to Moses out of a bush that burned but was not consumed. God spoke to Moses and gave him the task of leading the Israelites out of slavery. Moses protested, giving many reasons why his leadership would not be acceptable: (1) unworthy, (2) ignorant, (3) lacked eloquence, (4) others would not believe him.

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