But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand.
Exodus 4:1-4 NLT
God is calling Moses to return to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go free. The children of Israel have become the slave labor force for Egypt. Moses knows this is going to be a tough sell. Moses also knows the children of Israel may be reluctant to trust a man that was raised in Pharaoh’s house and then has disappeared for forty years. God gives Moses a miraculous sign to prove that God is working through his life. The question God asks Moses is, “What is that in your hand?” Moses had his shepherd’s staff. God tells him to throw it on the ground and when he does it becomes a snake. Then God tells him to pick it up by the tail and when he does it turns back into a staff. Some observations that apply to us. First, God worked with what Moses already had to do the miracle. God has already provided for us what we need to accomplish what He wants done in our lives. It may seem common and ordinary. Secondly, Moses had to release the staff before the miracle happened. We must give what we have to God so that He can work His miracles through what He has given to us. If we refuse to let go of what we have we will never see the supernatural work in our lives. Thirdly, our first reaction to the supernatural is often fear and shock. Moses “jumped back” when the staff became a snake. When God begins to do the supernatural it is a little shocking. We lose control of what is going on. We can’t always explain what is happening or why. It is natural to be surprised at the supernatural. Another observation, Moses had to pick the snake up from the tail. There was one level of faith in throwing the staff down but there was another level of faith in picking it back up when it was a snake. This would have been my biggest struggle. My brain would have complained that I don’t like snakes because they bite. But in faithful obedience Moses picked up the snake and it became a staff again. We must be able to manage the supernatural. We can’t allow it to get into the crazy and weird. We need to be sure to separate the real from the phony—Satan will always try to mess things up when God begins to work. Later Moses will do this same thing in front of Pharaoh and his magicians will throw down their staffs and they will become snakes. But Moses’ snake will eat up their snakes. God’s power will always overcome the fake and satanic. One last observation, the staff was Moses’ shepherd staff. Pretty soon the staff will start to be called the staff of God. When Moses released a piece of wood to be used by God it took on a new identity. It would be the staff that Moses would hold over the water in Egypt to turn the water to blood. It would be the staff Moses would hold over the Red Sea to part the waters. It would be the staff Moses would use to strike a rock and bring out water. From this day forward it was the staff of God. When we give whatever God asks, He will anoint it and give it a new identity.
Holy Spirit, I ask You to help me to listen to Your instructions. Help me to release anything and everything I have when You ask for it. Help me to realize what You have already put in my hand that You want to use.
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