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 conjunction with what I shared yesterday, let’s look at another principle we can glean from when God transformed Moses’ rod into a serpent and back into a rod. As I shared in the previous devotion, the serpent was emblematic of Pharaoh’s power and authority which is why it was featured on the crowns of the Pharaohs which is very interesting when you consider that the Hebrew word for “rod” stems from a word that means “to rule.” Consequently, the word for “rod” also alludes to a scepter. In other words, God used something that symbolized authority (the rod) to make a point about who truly has authority — and it wasn’t Pharaoh.
Also consider this: to make His point with Moses, He used something that Moses already had in hand. He didn’t have him find another, more important branch or stick but used the rod that Moses was already familiar with. In other words, this event demonstrated that God will use us and the skills we have learned with the tools that He has already placed in our hands.
As we go through life we learn; we develop skills and talents that are God-breathed and yet within our capacity to fine tune and hone into useful contributions to God’s purpose. Consider those artisans and craftsmen who took gold, brass, wood and dye and created the Tabernacle and its furnishings according to the pattern delivered to Moses. God gave them talents and wisdom but, still, they had to develop those skills to a point that they could build what God had ordained.
My point, today, is we should consider that the talents and vocation we have been given aren’t happenstance; they were given to us for a reason. It is important that as we go through life developing those skills that we do everything “heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). I’m sure that Moses never expected that his shepherd’s rod would factor so prominently in Israel’s redemption. Likewise, we may all be surprised to find that, one day, the talent and skills that we take for granted might be used in a very powerful way. You never know.
Blessings and Shalom,