Why did God turn Moses’ staff into a serpent? Why did God tell him to grab the serpent by the tail? Why didn’t He tell him to grab it by the head to assure he wouldn’t get bit?
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. 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 4:1–5
God has really been showing me something through this encounter with Moses at the burning bush. What has really stuck out to me is verse 4, when God tells Moses to reach out your hand and take it. I feel like I am speaking to someone right now, that you are going through some things that you are afraid to deal with. You are struggling with it, running from it, avoiding it, and the Holy Spirit told me to tell you, HANDLE IT!
Suppose They Don’t Believe Me?
What if? The NIV translates it as “What if” Do you realize how many things we don’t do because of what if, how many things we avoid, how many things aren’t handled that need to be handled, how many things aren’t dealt with, how many dreams are crushed before they even start, how many ministries never begin? All with the phrase that the enemy plays in your head, “What If.” What if I fail? What if it doesn’t work? But what if it does!
Moses took it even farther, “What if they?” Now he is getting to the heart of his fear. What will they think, what will they say? He’s playing the scenarios over in his mind, the “what ifs.” Fear is wrapped up in the what ifs. The what ifs will keep you up at night. The what ifs will keep you from moving forward. The what ifs will paralyze you. God is trying to take Moses to his destiny, and Moses is stuck saying What If.
What’s in Hour Hand?
A staff! Moses at this point doesn’t grasp the meaning of the staff in his hand. Moses doesn’t realize what all he will do with this staff. He has no way of knowing that this staff, when it touches the Nile River will turn the water to blood.
Moses wouldn’t know that when he held up this staff over the Red Sea that the waters would part and they would cross on dry ground. Or when they were fighting against the Amalekites that he would hold up the staff and the Army of Israel would win the battle. Or that when the people complained that there was no water to drink that Moses would strike the rock with his staff and water would come out.
If he would have known all that would have been accomplished with this staff, It would have seemed like a lot more than he thought at that moment. At the moment when God asked Moses, What’s in your hand, his fear of the task was too great, It just looked like an ordinary staff. God was trying to let Moses know, is all you need is in your hand.
Somebody needs to hear this because you are staring at some problems that you don’t think you can handle. God is saying you have all you need to handle each and every situation you will face. I have put in your hand all you need to raise those kids, deal with your unreasonable boss, handle your marriage problems, your struggles with the flesh, overcome your financial difficulties, and whatever you might face in life. I know you don’t think it is much, but it is all you need.
There was only one time that Moses messed up with staff. God told him to speak to a rock and instead he was mad and spoke to the people and hit the rock twice with his staff. The first time God told him to hit the rock, but this time He told him to speak to the rock, not hit it. Paul tells us, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4). Christ was to be struck only once for the sins of the people, not over and over like the sacrifices of old.
Moses didn’t properly handle what was in his hand. Handle what you have! This is a lesson God keeps teaching me. I need to accomplish more of what He has called me to do. He keeps telling me, you have all you need in your hand, you just need to learn to handle it.
Your problem isn’t that you don’t have what you need. Your problem is you don’t handle what you have. It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that you don’t handle it right. It’s not that you don’t have enough time, it’s that you don’t handle the time you have correctly. It’s not that God won’t speak to you, it’s that have handled what He already spoken to you concerning.
It’s not that I need more, because my God supplies all my needs. If I need it, I already have it in my hand. So my prayer has changed to God teach me to handle it. Lord, teach us to handle what You have already placed in our hand. Tell your yourself, you’ve got to handle it.
God Will Handle It
This all starts with God saying, I see my people struggling. I see how Pharaoh is treating them. I see their bondage. So God tells Moses, I’m going to handle it. He doesn’t handle it like we think. People get excited when you say God is going to handle it. The problem is He doesn’t handle it like we think He should handle it.
When Jesus had a large crowd with Him in the dessert and they were hungry, He turned to the disciples and said, handle it. They respond, “we don’t have the funds to handle it.” And He asks, “What do you have?” So when they take what they have in their hands, which was a boys small lunch, and put it in Jesus’ hands. He handles it.
So He is telling Moses, in chapter 3, I’m going to handle it, and now He’s letting Moses know, He is going to handle it through him.
You Must Handle It
God tells Moses to throw down the staff. The staff turns into a snake, which Moses is afraid of. So Moses does what Moses has always done, he runs. It’s what he did when he afraid Pharaoh was going to kill him. When Moses was faced with something he didn’t want to handle, he always ran.
As long you run from it, it will remain a snake. As long as you avoid it, it will stay a snake. It will have the potential to bite you, to poison you, and to paralyze you. But God tells Moses, reach down and handle it. It won’t change, until you handle it.
This is for someone right now, God is saying, “I will handle what you can’t, but I will not handle what you won’t.” So Handle It! Grab it by the tail! It matters how you handle it. God told Moses reach down and grab it by the tail.
This is a problem for me, because when I work my self up to handle it, I want to take it by the head. I want to have control over it. I want to know it isn’t going to turn around and bite me. So I want to take it by the head. But God said, grab it by the tail. God is saying, you don’t have to control it, you just have to handle it, and I’ll control.
What you have been running from, God is been telling you to handle? Because what you will handle, God will use. It was a staff used by God to do great things in Moses hand. It was a snake which caused fear, out of his hand. What mighty thing is God wanting to do if you will just stop running and handle it? What relationship is God wanting to change before your eyes, if you will just handle it? What ministry is God waiting to work through you, if you will just handle it?
Paul said, “I can handle being poor or being rich, being hungry, or full. I have learned in anything or any situation to handle it. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengths me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul saying, I learned God will handle, what I handle. So HANDLE IT!