Sunday, 12th July 2020
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
“So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand), “that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.” (Exodus 4:2-5)
Moses was holding his rod and asked by God to enter the holy place. He was asked to take off his shoes but still holding the rod. Why he was holding the rod to enter the holy place? His job at that time was to shepherd his father-in-law’s sheep, and the rod was an essential tool for this job. He could leave his shoes but not his rod – which was used to direct and protect the sheep. The rod became part of Moses’ life that he could not live without. What does this “rod” mean to us?
What is the rod in our hands?
When God says, “Come to me.”, what do we bring with us?
- Our Past: the past has been with us for a long time. People have different past experiences where we may have been put down by other people especially our authorities. We tend to hold tight to this past and be bound by it, and cannot forget and forgive past hurt.
- Our Knowledge: we think we can solve anything using our knowledge
- Our Abilities: we rely on our abilities to do things
- Our Relationships: we rely on other people to solve all problems.
- Our Wealth: we think we can sort all problems with our money.
- Our Power: we think we have the power to make everyone listen to us.
- Our Health: we think we are healthy and strong, and we don’t need any prayers.
All of these above stop us to see God. They have become our rod which we hold everywhere we go. We need to think what is the rod in our hand to stop us to see and experience God? Even though we believe in Christ, we still have fear to experience, because we feel insecure when we let go of our “rod”. We must know, all those things that we have been holding tightly will not go to heaven with us. We never think this rod that we hold to is a problem for us, or we don’t know how we can live without it. This rod is not a blessing for us.
Exodus 4:1 – Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’ ”
This verse mentions “suppose’ twice. It reveals that we could not see God’s power in our life. Remember when Moses walked down Mount Sinai with the tablets and without his rod, people could see God’s glory in Moses’ face.
Exodus 4:2,3 – Moses did not realise this rod was a problem for him until God told him. When the rod was cast down, it became a “serpent” – a snake or something狡猾 to lead people in the wrong direction. Moses started to recognise this rod, which was part of his life, was a “snake”. This is also us – devil always tries to lie to us, saying that our abilities, wealth or anything we have can solve all our problems, which stops us to seek God and enter the destiny that God has prepared for us.
2 Tim. 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Jesus has already told us, He has overcome all these challenges in this world, He has also given us the power to love, and of sound mind to stay vigilant and not seeing more than we should see.
When God asked Moses to catch the serpent by its tail, it sounded like a dangerous thing to do. But Moses humbled himself and obeyed God, and then the miracle happened, and it was God and Moses who worked together to make it happen. When the serpent became the rod, the rod was no longer an ordinary rod, but a different rod for Moses to perform all the miracles while leading the Israelites.