Summary: From the moment God asked Moses, "What’s in your hand," the life of Moses was never to be the same again. That simple shepherd’s staff was the tool by which God shook the foundations of mighty empire, but there was something Moses needed to do first. What
This past week I got to wondering about a few things… for instance:
1. If you throw a cat out a car window, does it become cat litter?
2. When a cow laughs, does milk come out its nose?
3. Since a fool and his money are soon parted, how did that fool and his money get together in the first place?
4. How do they get deer to cross at that yellow road sign?
5. We’re presently in hunting season, and it got me to thinking: when it’s tourist season, why can’t we shoot them?
6. What is another word for thesaurus?
7. Why is abbreviation such a long word?
8. How do you know when it’s time to tune your bagpipes?
9. Why is there an expiration date on a sour cream container?
10. Why do they call it a TV set when you only get one?
11. If you shoot a mime, should you use a silencer?
12. Is it true, that cannibals won’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
13. Why isn’t phonetics spelled the way it sounds?
14. Why do TV stations report power outages?
15. What hair color do they put on the driver’s license of a bald man?
16. If a bald man comes to Charlie for haircut (a local barber who’s deacon here) does he charge half price?
APPLY: Those are all silly Questions. They don’t make sense and they’re not supposed to.
And - at first glance – in our text today, God Himself seems to be asking a silly question: (pause) “Moses, what’s in your hand?”
I. Didn’t God know what Moses had in his hand?
Well, of course He did – He’s God. So why ask the question? Why ask something that is so obvious to both God and Moses? Well, God asked that question because there was something about that staff …something that it represented for Moses.
You see, this staff symbolized everything Moses owned. He was a shepherd, and his sheep were down on the side of the mountain grazing on what grass they could find there. Well, actually they weren’t even his sheep, they belonged to his father-in-law. Quite literally, its possible that Moses was something of a hired hand not even able to lay claim to the flocks under his care.
But, whatever his financial status, this staff represented the totality of Moses’ wealth. He may not have had much, but this staff represented all he had. At one time Moses had been a prince of Egypt, with power, prestige and palaces. Now, he was lowly shepherd living out in the middle of the desert in a tent that’s moved whenever they needed to find new pasture for the flocks.
Moses had little that was really his own… except his staff. But, as little as it may be, this staff symbolized all that he was & all that he had.
II. “So, (God asked) Moses what is your hand?”
Whenever God calls us to serve Him, that’s what He asks us: What’s in your hand? What do you have?
ILLUS: A man once had a dream where God offered him a pearl of great value and he felt a need to pay for it:
"I want this pearl. How much is it!"
"Well," the God said, "it’s very expensive.
"But, how much!" he asked.
"Well, a very large amount."
"Do you think I could buy it!"
"Oh, of course, everyone can buy it."
"But, didn’t you say it was very expensive!"
"Well, how much is it!"
"Everything you have," says God.
Consumed with a desire for the pearl the man said, "All right, I’ll buy it"
"Well, what do you have!" God wants to know. "Let’s write it down."
"Well, I have ten thousand dollars in the bank."
"Good-ten thousand dollars. What else!"
"That’s all. That’s all I have."
"Well, I have a few dollars here in my pocket."
He starts digging through his pocket "Well, let’s see-thirty, forty, sixty, eighty, a hundred, a hundred twenty dollars."
"That’s fine. What else do you have?"
"Well, nothing. That’s all."
"Where do you live?" God asks.
"In my house. Yes, I have a house."
"The house, too, then." He writes that down.
"You mean I have to live in my camper!"
"You have a camper! Good… What else!"
"I’ll have to sleep in my car!"
"You have a car!"
"Two of them."
"Good, both become mine - both cars. What else?"
"Well, you already have my money, my house, my camper, my cars. What more do you want!"
"Are you alone in this world?"
"No, I have a wife and two children. . . ."
"Oh, yes, your wife and children, too. What else?"
"I have nothing left! I am left alone now."