Empty your Hands;
What is that in thine hand?
Exodus 4:2 “And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.”
Moses’ shepherd’s rod was what he had.
This rod was not the task that he was to do; but it was a means of bringing that task to pass.
Here the Lord is calling Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh, to let the Lord’s people go…..to deliver them from bondage, to go to the land, God gave Abraham their father.
But Moses is hesitant. (Isn’t this like us? We pray for the furtherance of the gospel….but when God says for us to speak…..we hesitate.)
Exodus 4:1 “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.”
Here was the reason for the Lord pointing to the rod…..Moses was to be given means to use to convince the Israelites that God had sent Moses to them.
And that was the rod. The signs were to be done by the rod….in Moses hand.
Exodus 4:17 “And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.”
God would bless the means, (He always blesses the means He chooses)
But Moses would have to go and use it.
The task given to Moses, was to free the Israelites from Egypt; and to lead them to the Promised land.
(And how many times do we read that he used it, in Egypt….to the promised land.)
Let us consider this means: “this rod”…..that God chose:
Exodus 7:17 “Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.”
This was the first judgement against the oppressors; done by the means of the rod.
It was against their greatest pride; the Nile and it’s tributaries. They felt they were superior, for they did not even need the rain from heaven to fall; they had the Nile.
Exodus 8:5 “And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch for thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.”
The second judgement was against their comfort, as a great and wealthy nation; by a plague of frogs.
Exodus 8:16 “And the Lord said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.”
The third judgement was against cleanness: lice on man and beast, showing them how they were unclean in God’s sight.
But the rod was also used for the Israelites escape across the Red Sea:
Exodus 14:16 “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
The rod used by obedience, was the means; God’s Power was the force.
Then in their journey across the wilderness:
Exodus 17:6 “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
Here, Moses was to hit the rock…..by the means of the rod…..to bring forth the water that they needed,…..and God provided the water.
During the first battle Israel was called to fight….the rod was one of the means:
Exodus 17:9, 11-12 “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”
Moses holding up the rod was a means to victory. Joshua was needed to fight, and do his part…..and God gave the victory.
As a shepherd in exile, Moses had a rod…..And when he was called to deliver God’s people….Moses was given the means of his rod; it was right at hand.
What is the means God wants to use, to bless us?
Is it, too, right at hand?
Or do we need to empty our hands of other things, to pick up what He has for us to do?
I started this with, “Empty your hands”.
This used to be a favorite saying of my Grandmother: “Empty your hands, you can’t carry any more, without putting down what you have.”
So what are your hands full of? Works the Lord has placed there?
Or is it time for you to follow my Grandmother’s advice, empty your hands; and get ready to be given the means of blessing, from the Lord.