Once upon a time a man shepherded sheep his with his “stick” (rod) for forty years. One day this shepherd saw a bush on fire that did not burn up. When this shepherd went over to get a closer look at the bush that burned but did not burn up, a voice spoke to him from the bush. The voice said, “ Moses. Moses.” Moses, the shepherd responded, “Here I am”. “I AM the God of Abraham, the God if Isaac and the God of Jacob”, said the voice from the bush.
God told Moses that He has seen the horrific affliction and suffering of His people in Egypt and has heard their cries. “I have come down”, said the Lord, to bring them out and take them to a good land, a land “flowing with milk and honey”.
Moses probably thought, “Come on down!” Yet, God said, “I will send you!”
Of course Moses said, “Who am I that I should go?” God said it doesn’t matter who you are, “I will be with you!”
But Moses was full of excuses saying, “they won’t believe me”; “I am not eloquent but I am slow of speech and of tongue”; “please send someone else.”
God asked Moses one question. “What is that in your hand?” A “stick (rod). It is my shepherd’s staff, It is a dead peace of wood I have used to shepherd sheep for forty years, said Moses. It was Moses’ rod.
God told Moses to let it go and throw it down on the ground and it became a serpent. It freaked Moses out!
Once Moses yielded his stick to God, it became the “stick”( staff or rod) of God, Exodus 4:20. And this is what God did with that stick through Moses.
What is that in your hand? A “stick” (rod).
Now that the “stick” belonged to God, God used that same “dead” stick to turn it to turn the Nile river (which the Egyptians worshiped) in to blood red; Moses stretched forth God’s “stick” to orchestrate the ten plagues on all of Egypt’s gods. He used it provide life-giving water from the Rock. He raised it up to battle against and win against the enemies of Israel. Almost forty years later, God established Moses and Aaron’s authority by causing the “stick” to blossom with Almond blossoms. It was once dead but now it was alive!
Lesson: God has seen the affliction and suffering throughout the world and has “come down” in the Incarnation. He has called us to go into this suffering world and make disciples of all the people groups in the world. We make excuses like Moses, saying, “who am I”. God responds. “It doesn’t matter, I will be with you”. We say, I am not able; I have no abilities; I cannot speak; I am weak; . . . “ God asks, “If I can use a dead “stick”, can I use you?
However, as Moses gave the “stick over to God, so we too must give ourselves over to God. As Francis Schaeffer said in his book, No Little People, “so that which is me must become the me of God. Then I can become useful in the hands of God.”
Doug Brown must become the Doug Brown of God. How about you?
Inspired by Francis Schaeffer book, No Little People