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What's in Your Hand?

Exodus 4:2 "And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod."

Sometimes instead of man asking God questions, God asks man questions. His asking is not because He does not know; His questions are rhetorical, to make a point. In Exodus 4, God did not ask Moses about what was in his hand so that He (God) would know-He asked Moses so that Moses would know.

Often we picture Moses with a striking, powerful rod, along with his flowing beard and white hair. We associate the rod with his persona from pictures and characterizations. But Moses' rod was just a plain, ordinary rod any shepherd would have had. Can't you almost hear Moses answer God? "Um, a . . . rod?"

God's question to Moses is a good question for us today. What is in your hand? Whatever it may be, it largely depends on the abilities and responsibilities that God has given you. And it is up to God to make sure both the ability and the responsibility are balanced. You will never be a good steward of that which is in your hand until you know what it is. Likewise, if your abilities and your responsibilities are not balanced-that is, what you can do and what you should do-you cannot be a good steward of God's gifts.

What was in Moses' hand? A rod with significance, not because of Moses, but because of the God of Moses. The rod would not later part the Red Sea, nor would Moses. God parted the sea, and He did it through Moses and through a rod.

Notice the progress in the chapter. God first asks Moses about what is in his hand, and Moses calls it "a rod." In verse 17, God tells Moses to take "this rod," and then in verse 20, the Bible says, "and Moses took the rod of God in his hand." Was Moses' rod the rod of God? It was now!

The rod was in some ways a metaphor for Moses himself. God was teaching Moses about Moses by using his rod. You can either use what is in your hand, or you can abuse it. Later on, God used this same rod in Moses' hands to give water from a rock (Exodus 17). What happened later when Moses was the one using the rod, and he struck the rock instead of speaking to it? When he was obedient, God did what only He could do. When Moses rebelled, he abused the rod and only bad things happened.

Today, what is in your hand? It is not "a rod," nor is it "this rod," but it is God's rod!

The story is told of a master violinist who was to play a great concert with a very expensive European violin. The concert hall was packed as the crowd stirred with anticipation and excitement. The master violinist finally emerged from backstage and began playing his first arrangement. It was beautiful, stirring, moving, and exciting. When he was finished, the crowd erupted into applause-an ovation like none other.

After several minutes, when the crowd finally settled down, the master violinist promptly took the violin, stepped to the front of the stage, and smashed the violin against the stage! The crowd gasped and sat stunned-until the master violinist went to another violin case on the stage, pulled out the $5000 violin, and finished the concert. The violin he smashed was purchased at a pawn shop for $20! You see, no one came to the concert hall that night to hear a $5000 violin; they came to hear the master violinist.
With God, the ordinary things are made extraordinary; the natural are made supernatural. May God help us to realize what is in our hand today and let the Master use it.

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