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.’” 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. (Exodus 4:1-3)
In response to Moses’ concern about the people’s receptions, God called attention to the staff or rod that Moses had been using in his care of Jethro’s flocks and herds. Once it hit the ground it was transformed into something potentially dangerous; something regarded as a picture of evil even to this day. Initially Moses fled from it but, at God’s prompting, able to pick it up and use it as a rod again.
In this situation, we see that God is able to use the strongest and most fearsome enemy for His purposes. History teaches that the serpent was the symbol of Pharaoh’s “divine” power and was featured on the crown he wore upon his head. In other words, God was demonstrating that Pharaoh’s own power would becomes God’s tool to deliver Israel, and at the same time, that power would be His tool to judge Pharaoh and Egypt. The power of Egypt would be overcome just as Moses was able to pick the serpent up by the tail; it was still deadly but unable to bite him.
Therefore, we should not fear those who wield power over us because, in time, God will use that power to work out His plan for us. What may seem dangerous and deadly now, in the future, may become the means to deliver His people from their burdens. In fact, those who have such power must arise, at times, in order that we are provoked to draw closer to our Father. Rather than fear them, we are to fear the One who allowed them to come to power. That which caused Moses to withdraw initially in fright was transformed into a rod that would, in the future, demonstrate God’s sovereignty and power over every king and kingdom. So then, let us walk in the authority that He has given us through His Son and tread upon the scorpions and serpents that raise their heads against us. We have that promise; let’s embrace it.
Blessings and Shalom,