GOD IS POWERFUL
Loving Lord, I pray for an eager mind to learn, a dedicated will to serve, and a surrendered heart to love.
Read Exodus 4:1–17
Signs for Moses
4 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”
2 Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A staff,” he replied.
3 The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.”
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 “This,” said the Lord, “is so 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.”
6 Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous[a]—it had become as white as snow.
7 “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.
8 Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground.”
10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”
14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”
- Exodus 4:6 The Hebrew word for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you sometimes doubt either God or your ability to serve him? Pray these words that a man in Mark’s Gospel prayed: ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’ (Mark 9:24).
We have spent some days with Moses, understanding who he is and his interactions with God. In today’s passage, we see a man who is really struggling with doubt and insecurity. He worries that the Israelites will not believe him or listen to him (v 1). He does not feel eloquent enough to give big speeches (v 10). Ultimately, he asks God to send someone else (v 3). And you can also picture him jumping in fright and running away in fear from the snake (v 3). What worries and concerns do you have today?
What is God’s response? Patiently – although his anger is kindled (v 14) – God gives Moses things he can use on his journey: impressive signs and miracles (vs 2–9), and his brother to help him out (vs 14–16). Think about the things God has given you to equip you to serve him, such as promises in his Word, or the community of your church, and be encouraged that he is with you.
Reflect on the reassurances which God has given you in his Word: his power and strength (e.g. Isaiah 40:28–31); his grace which is sufficient for all we need (e.g. 2 Corinthians 12:9). Pray now for his help to overcome your doubts.
Dear Father, sometimes I feel reluctant to step forward in faith in response to Your caII. I identify with Moses. Increase my faith and confidence in You.
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