We have really been enjoying reading through the Bible together after breakfast each day. It has amazed me how the Lord is showing us things that we never saw before. Well, yesterday was one of those times.
We were reading in Exodus 4, where God gives Moses power to perform miracles to prepare him for going to Egypt. The first thing God had Moses do was to throw his staff on the ground. Moses obeyed, and the staff immediately turned into a snake and “Moses fled from it.” This indicates to me that Moses was afraid of the snake and didn’t want to be near it.
So what does God tell Moses to do next? In Exodus 4:4 is says,
“But the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail…'”
I don’t know why this little fact never stood out to me before, but it did this time….God asked Moses to grab the snake by its TAIL!
Once I read that portion of Scripture, I stopped and talked about that with the kids. I asked the kids that if you had to pick up a snake, would you pick it up by the tail? All of them said, “NO!” They said that you are supposed to grab them right behind the head. If you pick them up by the tail, the snake can turn and bite you.
What amazed me the most, though, was that even after Moses displayed such fear of the snake by fleeing from it, when God asked him to grasp it by the tail, he obeyed. It was after he obeyed that the snake turned back into the staff.
In thinking about this throughout the day yesterday, I realized how very much we can learn from this passage.
1. Sometimes when we obey God, the result will seem scary. Like God telling Moses to throw his staff down on the ground. That didn’t seem too hard, but when the staff turned into a snake, Moses fled. Sometimes God asks us to do things that don’t seem too hard at first, but then when we are in the midst of it, we flee with fear.
2. God sometimes asks us to do things that don’t make sense. When God asked Moses to pick up the snake by the tail, I’m sure that Moses was wondering if God knew what He was talking about! God has Moses turn around and face the very thing he was afraid of…but he was going to have to totally trust God in order to obey.
3. God takes the very things in our life that bring fear, and He makes us turn around, face that fear, and overcome it by totally trusting in Him. That is what Moses had to do. I’m sure he knew all about snakes and how deadly they can be. Moses had to turn around from fleeing his fear to facing it. Not only did he have to face it, but he had to grasp a hold of it (and not in the way he would have chosen..not by the tail!).
4. God wants to do mighty things through us, but we MUST totally trust Him..and obey! He wants to display His awesome power in our life, but to do so we have to obey. We have to obey God when it seems scary…obey when it doesn’t make sense…obey when we have to face our fear and totally trust Him.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much this passage encouraged me! I pray my thoughts have encouraged you as well.
Are you facing any fears right now? Is the Lord telling you to do something that makes you fearful or just doesn’t make sense? Trust Him! God wants to do might things through you, but we must totally surrender to Him and obey!