What’s in your hand? – Man as Provider

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand— “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.” - Exodus 4:1-5 ESV

God was about to show Himself mighty before Pharoah and the Egyptians who had enslaved His chosen people. To do so, He called into service a man named Moses. Just as the Lord said: “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So, I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go” (Exod. 3:19-20). God would do the work; Moses would supply the man.
Yet, as Moses began to absorb the immense task before him, he was quickly overwhelmed. Shaking in his sandals, his reluctance on full display, he spat out excuse after excuse to the God of Heaven. God responded by posing a series of questions. The first was: “What is that in your hand?” A question that revealed not merely what Moses possessed but, more importantly, what Moses needed to offer to God to be used in a miraculous way. It was an ordinary shepherd’s staff, a rod that Moses likely fashioned from a tree or branch to use while tending Jethro’s herd. There was nothing special about this shepherd’s staff in the hand of Moses. But when Moses placed it in God’s hand, that rod was transformed.
Even though it may not have made sense to him, Moses obeyed God’s command to throw his staff on the ground. When it transformed into a serpent, Moses obeyed again by grabbing it by the tail. When he did, it changed back into a staff again (4:3-4). This was no magician show trick. It had a higher purpose (4:5): The Lord’s mighty—but invisible—hand would be seen through that simple shepherd’s rod and convince the Israelites that God had sent Moses to deliver them from slavery.
Each of us as men of God has an incredible task set before us as we strive to fulfill our calling from the God of Moses to love and lead our families and friends out of bondage and into freedom. As we grasp God’s calling on our lives, like Moses, we may be tempted to shrink from the task. That’s when we need to hear the same question God asked Moses: “What is that in your hand?”
In Moses’ case, it was a staff. A simple rod that God would use time and time again in the hand of Moses to prove Himself strong and mighty. Before Moses left on this mission, God told him in verse 17: “And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.” And verse 20 says that Moses set out toward Egypt “with the rod of God in his hand” (KJV). With the rod of God, he struck the waters of the Nile and God turned them into blood (7:12), filled the land with frogs (8:5) and lice (8:16-17), rained down fiery hail from the heavens (9:23), and smothered the land with locusts (10:13). When Moses stretched the rod of God over the Red Sea, God divided it (14:16), then he struck the rock with it and God brought forth water (17:5-6), and when he held it high with help from Aaron and Hur, God enabled the armies of Israel to defeat the Amalekites (17:9-13). With the rod of God, Moses did signs and wonders just as the Lord had said. That simple shepherd’s staff, picked up on the backside of the desert, once the symbol of Moses’ exile, became the symbol of God-given victory. It became the rod of God! With that rod in the hand of Moses, God enabled Moses to lead an entire nation from bondage into freedom’s path to the place He had prepared for them. Moses was simply willing to give God what he had, and God did the rest.
God is still looking for courageous men who will do the same: provide Him with what they possess, simple and humble as it may be, and let God do the rest. Men, that’s a life of fulfillment you don’t want to miss! What could God do with what you have when it’s placed in His almighty hand?
- What are you doing with the resources, gifts, talents, and abilities that God has entrusted to your stewardship? Have you offered all of it to Him?
What is God asking you to give to Him that may be insignificant to you, maybe even a symbol of your failure, that in God’s hand could be used in ways you have never imagined?
Ask God to show you how He wants to use you for His plans and purposes and to give you the humility to surrender all you are and have to Him.