Summary: Offer that which you have to God and He can use it to accomplish great things.
Moses was shepherd, tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro. He has been living such a life for 40 years when the Lord suddenly appeared before him in a burning bush. God spoke to him, and called him to serve Him.
7 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.
8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey....
9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.
10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."
Moses was unprepared for this. He felt he was not capable enough for it. He argues with God. In the midst of these interchanges, Moses said (Exod 4:1): "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ’The LORD did not appear to you’?"
Moses was a man struggling to trust God. He worries that God might have made a mistake in choosing him. And so he looked at all the possible problems. WHAT IF...
We struggle with that... what if this did not work, what if that failed to work, what if they got angry when I share Christ, and the list goes on.
Many times, this WHAT IFs are not real but it kills our faith in God. Does God know what will happened? Yes. In fact, in the conversation with Moses, God revealed His knowledge of things to come.
· v.12 - God knows they will eventually come out and worship Him on this mountain (Horeb), where He was speaking with Moses.
· v.18 - ’cos Moses was worried whether the Israelites will listen to him (v.13) God told him "the elders of Israel will listen to you..."
· v.19 - God even told him that "the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him."
· v.20 - after all the wonders I will perform, "he will let you go."
When God calls us, He will provide the resources, because it is His work. Whatever task we are doing in church, whatever ministry, we are His servant, doing His work. It is not our work. Psalm 127:1 "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
And then we see God assuring Moses... not with one but 3 miracles. He asked Moses a question I want to ask you today, "What is that in your hand?"
For Moses, it was his staff - an ordinary shepherd staff which he might have used for the past 40 years. God told him to throw it down and when Moses did, it turned into a snake. The bible says, Moses ran from it. Naturally.
Then God told Moses to pick the snake up by the tail. We know we don’t pick a snake up by the tail, instead, you grab them just below their jaws so they can’t strike you. But God told Moses to grab it by the tail, and Moses followed the command of the Lord. When he did, it turned back into a staff.
Moses experienced the trustworthiness of God’s Word. What God says is true and will come true. Moses experienced that personally. God is helping him grow in his faith.
And we see God working miracles with what is in Moses’ hand. It was just an ordinary staff that he might have used for many years, shepherding the flock. God asked him to offer it up and God manifested His power.
Look what God has done with this staff:
God used Moses and that staff to get the people out of Egypt.
• With the staff, Moses struck the Nile river and it turned to blood (7:17),
• brought a plague of frogs out of the waters (8:5),
• struck the dust and turned them into gnats (8:16),
• stretched it toward heaven to bring down fire, thunder, and hail (9:23),
• brought a plague of locust (10:13),
• divided the Red Sea (14:16),
• struck a rock with it and got water (17:6)
• and when he held it high in the air, his warriors prevailed in battle (17:9).
And what is that thing - Moses called it "a staff!"
If we look at the staff today it would look the same as any ordinary shepherd staff. But placed in God’s hands it was used to do the miraculous.