I am an Old Testament junkie. Not for doctrine, but for its story lines. I have a huge advantage when I read these various accounts of how God dealt with his chosen nation, vs. the people who were living out their story. I have 20/20 vision we call hind sight. Looking back can be an advantage to me in a lot of ways. One advantage is that I have read about God’s plan. I know that when it looks like all is lost, it really isn’t, because I know the ending. Moses and the Hebrews? Not so advantaged. From their position, they had no clue how God’s plan would unfold. In fact, sometime when such chaos would erupt they would begin to wish they had never engaged in His plan. God would always tell His representative the plan, or tell him as it unfolded. The point being, someone knew what God wanted done, or where He was leading them. What He said always transpired. I wish I could learn that lesson. My problem is listening to Him to hear what His plan is. And then when things get a little scary, not second guessing myself about whether or not I heard Him correctly.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s take look at this particular Old Testament conversation between God and Moses. By the way, in order for a real conversation to take place it has to be between at least two people. This conversation was about what God was going to accomplish through Moses.
The conversation begins when God set a bush on fire to get his attention. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths God goes to in order to have a conversation with me. How about you? Has God set a fire to any bushes around you lately? Fires that can’t be put out? Are you aware that the fire that God starts, will burn as long as He needs it to, in order to get out attention? Once Moses turned aside to see this bush burning, God started the conversation.
He let Moses know where he was at this moment. I think this was to communicate to him that he might want to “listen up”! God then begins to unfold his plan, and Moses’ participation in that plan. God basically tells Moses he needs to go on “mission impossible”, not the TV show, but a critical mission which will involve setting His people free. Moses apparently is caught off guard. He communicates as much with his response. In a few words, he rejects the plan as nonsense. This plan was a dangerous and time consuming task. Can you relate to Moses? Has God ever revealed to you, from your perspective, that He not only had the wrong person, but He had a plan that would not work?
But God’s got a plan, and he is well prepared for Moses’, and our objections.
Moses’ objections boils down to one statement. “I can’t, I am not equipped, and ALL I HAVE is this ROD. And by the way, who would ever listen to me? On top of that if I were to tell them you sent me, tell them this plan, someone would call 911 and have me committed!!”
I believe this is the response God wanted from Moses. Moses realizes, he can’t. If you read the story closely, God never said he could.
As far as Moses is concerned, it appears this conversation is over, story ended, bring down the curtain on God’s plan. But, and this is one of those “BIG buts”, God asks Moses an important question. “Moses, what is that in your hand?” Moses’s answer, “a staff”! Implied in that answer is, “this is all I got Lord!” What was God response? “Throw it down!” Moses did not hesitate, and immediately turned it lose. Right here is a major point to this story. When Moses was willing to turn loose of all that he identified with, all that he could call his own, then God began to show Moses what He could do with a simple stick. If you read the rest of this story, none of that happens unless Moses turns loose of his staff. This staff (rod) became the rod of God, no longer was it Moses staff. Because Moses was willing to participate with God, and allowed God to empower the staff in his hand, over 500,000 people were set free.
What is that in your hand? A marriage relationship that has gone off the rails?
A parent child relationship that has spiraled out of control? An addiction that is taking over you and your family, and has resulted in a living nightmare? Those are just a very few examples of daily trauma that invades Christian lives. How many times have you tried to fix these with your “staff”? How has that worked for you?
I believe that God is saying through this simple blog, throw YOUR efforts down, YOUR resources down, and let Him do in and through you a deliverance, that cannot, nor will not happen as long as you are in control of YOUR staff (resources).
At Crossway Ministries we share with people every day. We encourage them to quit trusting in “THEIR STAFFS” (their selves), and begin to trust God not only for their salvation but for their situations. Are you willing to “throw your staff down”? If so, then call us 864-224-5557, God might use us to help you to begin your journey of trusting Him instead of yourself to make life work.