Summary: We all have been blessed with opportunities and abilities. Will you use yours for God’s glory?
As we think of Moses, there are many events that come to mind. We recall his standing before God in the burning bush maybe as often as any other event. It was when he stood there that God took a very common item - the tool of a shepherd - and made it an extraordiary instrument with which to lead His people.
As Moses returned to his mission field, he took that ordinary tool with him, because God had sanctified it.
Exodus 4:20, “And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.
As Moses appeared before Pharoah, to deliver the message of God, he took that tool, according to God’s plan.
Exodus 7:10, “And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
IN THE PLAGUES
This ordinary shepherd’s stick became an instrument of rightreous judgement:
Exodus 7:19-20, And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. (1)
Exodus 8:5, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. (2)
Exodus 8:16, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. (3)
Exodus 9:23, “And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. (4)
Exodus 10:13, “And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. (5)
AT THE RED SEA
When up against the desert on one side, the mountains on the other, and the uncrossable Red Sea ahead, this common shepherd’s tool becam an instrument of deliverance.
Exodus 14:21, “ And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
IN THE WILDERNESS
After travelling through the parching desert, the children of Israel were dehydrating, and thirsty. It was there that this common piece of wood became an instrument of provision and protection.
Provision: Exodus 17:5, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
Protection: Exodus 17:9, “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Note that Moses promised to seek God, to intercede for Joshua and the soldiers (Exodus 17:9).
Joshua was to fight; Moses was to pray. Moses promised to go to the top of the highest hill surrounding the battle field, to lift up the rod of God, appealing and calling out to God in prayer. The rod of God was looked upon as the Banner of Israel. Consequently, when they saw the rod of God—their banner—lifted high, they knew that God’s servant was crying out to God. They were encouraged and motivated to fight beyond their strength. They knew that God would give them the victory over their enemy.
The point is this: Moses promised the warriors of Israel that he would be their intercessor, their prayer-warrior.
And it all started… with obedience.
Exodus 4:2-4, “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:”