WHAT IS THAT IN THINE HAND

Exodus 4:1-5

 

Introduction -The rod in this story may be used to represent many things. In this message we are going to let the rod represent our life. Each of our lives, like the rod, are virtually useless until we throw it down in obedience to the command of God and he makes something useful out of it. We will look at seven things about the rod and compare them to our lives.

 

I.   FIRST, IT IS JUST A COMMON ROD, Vs 2

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

A.  Just a plain, common, ordinary rod - (A rod) -a dead piece of wood, I was a nobody going nowhere. Unnoticed, unknown

 

II.  THEN, IT IS A CAST DOWN ROD

A.  Moses' Orders, Vs 3 - Cast it on the ground,

-Get it out of your hands

Exo 4:3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

B.  Moses' Obedience, Vs 3,-And he cast ft on the ground,

Exo 4:3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.

C.  Moses' Second Orders, Vs 4,

Exo 4:4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

-Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail.

-Take up it back up but not under YOUR CONTROL.

D.  Moses' Second Obedience, Vs 4b .....And he put forth his hand, and caught ft, and it became a rod in his hand:

 

Ill.    THEN, IT BECOMES A CONVERTED ROD 

A. First it was a Plain Rod, Vs 2, "A Rod"

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

B.  Then it becomes a Particular Rod. "This Rod" 4:17

It is never called a rod again. From now on it is called this rod, thy rod, or the rod.

Exo 4:17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

C.  Then it becomes a Powerful Rod "The Rod of God" 4:20

Exo 4:20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

 

IV.   THEN, IT BECOMES A CONQUERING ROD, 

Exodus 7:9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
Exo 7:10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Exo 7:11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
Exo 7:12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

Aaron cast it down and it became a serpent again. When Pharaoh's magicians done likewise, Aaron's rod ate up the magician's rods. This possibly could have been a different rod.

 

V.   THEN, IT BECOMES A CONVINCING ROD, 

Cp. Exodus 5:2, 6:3 

Moses uses this rod to:

1.  Turn the water into blood, Exodus 7:14-19

Exo 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.
Exo 7:15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand.
Exo 7:16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear.
Exo 7:17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood.
Exo 7:18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.
Exo 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone.

2.  Bring the frogs into the land, Exodus 8:1-15

3.  Change the dust into lice, Exodus 8:16-19

Exo 8:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
Exo 8:19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

(Note the failure and confession of Pharoah's magician's 8:18-19) 

 

4. Bring the judgment of thunder and hail, Exodus 9:23

Exo 9:23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.

5.  Bring out the locust, Exodus 10:13

Exo 10:13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.

VI.    THEN, IT BECOMES A CONTROLLING ROD

1.  Victory over impossibility at the red sea, 

Exodus 14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

2.  Victory over impatience at the rock Horeb, 

Exodus 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Exo 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?
Exo 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Exo 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Exo 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.
Exo 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Exo 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

3.  Victory over the impasse with rebellious Amalek, 

Exodus 17:8 Exo 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
Exo 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
Exo 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
Exo 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
Exo 17:12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
Exo 17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Exo 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
Exo 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:
Exo 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

VII.  FINALLY IT BECOMES A COSTLY ROD, 

Numbers 20:7-13

  1.  God's simple directions, Vs 8 speak unto the rock."

Num 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

2.  Moses' shameful disobedience, Vs 10-11

Num 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

a. His disrespectful address, Vs 10 b.... Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 

 

His deceitful action, Vs 11

Num 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

-The people did not know what Moses did, but God knew.

-The Water came out anyway.

c. His death announced, Vs 12

Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

 

This is the last time that Moses was permitted to use the Rod of God. After his willful disobedience, God never allowed Moses to use the rod again. Imagine, the very thing that Moses had used to bring great victories for God and the Children of Israel now becomes his downfall. May God help us not to abuse that which God has blessed us with so that it brings our own down­fall.

by Bro. Stinnett Ballew

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