What Is That In Your Hand? Series
Contributed by Bob Hostetler on Jul 7, 2001 (message contributor)
Summary: Whenever God asks a question, we should give careful attention to why he asks . . . . and to what we answer
The Questions of God:
“What Is That In Your Hand?”
Scripture: Exodus 4:1-17
Text: Exodus 4:2
Intro: A week ago today, over a hundred kids and adults from OBF got back from the annual Tennessee Trek camping experience.
Over the course of that week, many of the campers and staff experienced the thrills and spills of Christian community, as one after the other served each other in love and fellowship.
If you listen to the stories of that experience, you’ll hear echoes of the kind of community the early church, as described in the book of Acts, enjoyed- actions and attitudes that can only be fully explained as a work of God’s Spirit.
For example, what would possess two young men like Ben Hogue and Jordan Saas to chase people down in order to win the privilege . . . of washing their dishes?
What would prompt an old dude like Henry Saas to roll out of bed with the sun to take a group of kids “tubing” on the lake at 7 a.m.?
What explains the tireless strumming and singing of John Meaux, Tom Osinkosky, Josh Florio, Tyler Sparks, Aaron Hostetler, Kyle Webb, Nathan Hartley and others, who seemed to be always leading someone or some group in worship?
What makes a man like Grover Brown pray alone, pacing back and forth, for hour upon hour, for the ministry of others?
What would cause Nathan Devore, Andrew Holzworth, Josh Florio, and others to spend hours chopping wood for others until their hands blistered?
What would inspire a normally quiet young woman like Katherine Vincent to step forward and speak up when a “Jesus shout” is called for?
What would prompt young people who’ve never prayed before in front of others or spoken publicly about Jesus to suddenly overcome their reluctance?
What would persuade kids whose parents can’t get ‘em to take the trash out at home to willingly unload supplies, clean port-a-potties, and make somebody else’s lunch?
I believe there is a short answer and a long answer to those questions.
The short answer is: God.
The long answer is this: there is within each of us, a longing to be useful, to be needed, to contribute to the lives of others in a meaningful way, a desire to know that we’ve made a difference to someone, a hunger to be a part of something important,
You’ve felt it, haven’t you?
Maybe you’re even feeling it now.
If you are, then it is my prayer and purpose this morning for God to answer your longings and fill your waiting heart.
For the last several weeks here
at Oxford Bible Fellowship,
we have been examining the questions of God, because, you see,
we know that God knows everything.
So, if God knows everything,
then he never needs to be informed.
And if he never needs to be informed,
then he need not ask any question;
thus, we can be pretty confident that when our all knowing God asks a question,
it is not for his own information
but for ours.
Therefore, whenever God asks a question,
we should give careful attention to why he asks
and to what we answer,
for his question and our answer
will very likely reveal something very important
about him, and about us.
So, three weeks ago, Pastor Dave Smetana
considered God’s question to Adam and Eve,
“Where Are You?”
Two weeks ago, Tolivar Wills treated God’s
question to Abraham and Sarah,
“Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?”
And last week, Jim Lillibridge discussed the
Lord’s question to Jonah,
“Should I Not be Concerned?”
So, let’s turn to our text for this morning in the second book of the Bible, Exodus chapter 4 . . . Exodus chapter 4 . . . .
where we find God asking another question.
And once you have your Bible open to the fourth chapter of Exodus, let’s pray together.
who knows all and sees all,
we know and confess that nothing is hidden from you.
You are never surprised,
never caught off guard,
You never need to be informed of anything,
instructed in anything,
or reminded of anything.
I pray, God, that in these moments,
as we look into your Word
and seek to learn from it,
that you will set us on your knee
like little children;
ask what you will
and tell us what you want.
In Jesus name and according to his will,
Now, before we jump into God’s Word together, let me set the scene for our scripture reading and remind you that as Exodus chapter 4 begins, God has just spoken from a burning bush to Moses, the former prince of Egypt, who as the chapter opens is a lowly shepherd in the desolate desert land of Midian. God has just told Moses that he has been chosen to lead his fellow Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt, and Moses is about as willing as a chicken at a KFC convention.