Saturday, August 21, 2010

Moses' Staff

by Mary Vee
Exodus 3:15-4:8

I had gone for a short walk away from the flock and discovered a bush on fire. A voice spoke to me from the bush. 

I had been listening to the voice and wondered who was speaking.  The voice told me He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  When I asked what name I should call Him, He said, "I AM." 

I had taken my sandles off as God told me to. He said the ground where I stood was holy.  If the ground was holy then I needed to do more than remove my sandles.  What would happen to me if I looked at the flames, knowing God's voice was there? I hid my face and scrinched close to the ground. 

He listend to my questions and answered them one by one while instructing me what to do.

God told me to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to release the children of Israel from slavery.  I asked more questions about what to say. He answered, "Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob appeared to me. He said, "I have seen what is done to you in Egypt. I will bring you out of your slavery to a land filled with milk and honey." ' "

The longer I listened to His voice, the more my heart calmed. I wanted to hear everything He had to say.  He spoke with wisdom, and treated me like a son. Sure, I was surprised he wanted to talk to me, afterall who was I?  Yet, the more I listened to His instructions, the more I wanted to do what He asked.

God said the Israelite elders would go with me before Pharaoh.  When I asked what we should say, God answered, "Tell Pharaoah the Lord God of the Hebrews has met with you. Ask him to please let you go three days journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord your God.  But, Moses, even though you say those words, I am sure Pharaoh will not let you go."

I realized God had a complete plan to help the Israelites leave Egypt.  He told me, "I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in Pharaoh's midst.  Afterwards, Pharaoh will let you go.  When the time comes for the Israelites to leave, the Egyptians will give the Israelites silver, gold, and clothing."

This sounded great, but I couldn't figure out how to get the Israelite elders to believe God sent me?  So, I asked Him.

He said, "Moses, what is that in yor hand?"

I glanced down, "A rod."

He told me to throw it on the ground.  I did.  Right before my eyes, my rod, the one I've used for many years to guide my flock, turned into a serpant.  It scared me.  I ran to a safe distance. 

God spoke to me again. "Moses, reach out and take the serpent by the tail."

If His voice hadn't been calm and firm, I might not have moved forward right away.  Somehow, though, I knew I wouldn't be hurt.  I stepped back toward the serpant and caught it by the tail.  It stopped moving and became stiff. When I looked again, I realized the serpant became my rod.  God said, "Do as I have shown you before the elders that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has appeared to you."

I moved my hand up and down my rod finguing the grains to make sure no serpent scales remained.  It felt the same as before.  How exciting! 

God spoke to me again. "Put your hand inside your tunic." I did as He said and then pulled my hand back out.  The skin of my hand turend pasty white.  I had leprosy. Before I had a chance to panic, God said, "Put your hand inside your tunic again." I did.  As I pulled my hand back out, I squeezed my fingers together and found they worked like normal.  My skin felt like it did before. God healed my hand!

I had never seen God work in this way.  In this one conversation, my job changed from watching sheep to listening to God's word.

What did God ask Moses to do?
What happened when Moses obeyed?
What did Moses learn?

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