Daily D – Exodus 4:1-5
Exodus 4:1-5 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ex 4:1–5.
Some lessons are both simple and powerful. Here is one of them: God can do more with what you have than you can. God turned Moses’ staff into a snake. Ordinarily, this is not something a person would think would come in handy. Moses did what you would probably do if it happened to you. He ran from it (verse 3).
More than a cheap trick, this will become an act of self-defense later in the story.
Where God guides, God provides.
Moses had a staff God could turn into a snake when necessary. God also demonstrated how he could turn healthy skin into leprous skin and back again. These were powerful signs. Moses still wanted God to find someone else for the job and protested in verse 10 with an argument about what a poor speaker he was. He could eloquently argue with God, but not Pharaoh.
Read verses 11-14 right up to the place where it says, “Then the LORD’s anger burned against Moses . . .” Instead of literally burning Moses for his insolence, again God provided what Moses needed. Aaron was already on his way. Verse 15 says Moses was to tell Aaron what to say. God said he would help both of them speak and would tell them what to do.
These are two lessons we see again and again in the pages of the Bible. God can do more with what we have than we can. Where God guides God provides. These are points worth pondering. These truths will come in handy for each of us soon.
These truths remind us of Proverbs 3:5, 6:
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Pr 3:5–6.
These are good words for a new day and a new week. Let’s take them seriously. Now is a good time to align and attune our hearts and minds with God as we step into the adventures before us.
What has God placed in your hand?
What words will he place in your mouth?
What difference will it make?
I will trust God from the bottom of my heart.
Our Father, you can do more with what you have placed in my hand than I can. Wherever you guide my steps, you will provide for my needs. I trust you, submit to you, and follow you wherever you may lead. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.