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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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”