Moses' Credentials for the Ministry
Tim Temple

Introduction

Our text today is Exodus, chapter 4, beginning with verse 1:

Exodus 4:

1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
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.
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:
5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.
6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow.
7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.
10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
13 And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.

We have studied the life of Moses for some weeks now, and we have seen how God has prepared him step-by-step to be the one who will deliver the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. We have been noticing God's preparation of Moses to get Israel out of Egypt. What we have here in chapter 4 is what we might think of as the final exam of Moses' desert schooling and the actual beginning of the deliverance of the children of Israel.

This is the real meaning of commencement , and we might think of chapter 4 as the graduation day of Moses' schooling program. As we think about the verses that we have read together, we want to think about them from two standpoints. First, we have the credentials of service, in verses 1-9. Then in verses 10-17, we have the cooperating spokesman.

The credentials that Moses received for his ministry involved a specific kind of visible credentials and a man who would work with him to verify and speak for Moses. Both of these things are used by God to be the credentials that Moses would have for his ministry as he goes back to the people.

The Supposed Need for Credentials

We want to think about the credentials for service, and the first thing along that line is in verse 1, which we are referring to as the supposed need for credentials . Notice:

Exodus 4:

1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.

We are referring to this as a supposed need for credentials because in our study of the life of Moses thus far, you will remember that God had already told Moses what to say and how the people to whom he said it would react. Go back to chapter 3, and notice verse 14:

Exodus 3:

14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

That is what Moses was supposed to say, and then down in verse 18, we read:

Exodus 3:

18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

You see, God had already fully informed Moses what he was to say and what he was supposed to expect, and that is why we say that Moses was only supposing that he needed some credentials because God had already communicated with him so clearly.

We mentioned in our last lesson, as we studied about God's communicating with Moses, that in chapter 3, we have at least five different places where it is recorded that God said something specific to Moses. But Moses' first reaction, after all of this revelation from God, was, “God, what are they going to say and what will I say when they start asking questions?” This shows the clarity and the practicality of the Word of God. Isn't that just like all of us? It is one thing to be communicated with by God. It's one thing to understand what God wants us to do, but one of the first things that crosses our minds is what are people going to say and what are people going to think?

That was Moses, so God said, “Moses, I'm going to give you the things to say. I will be with your mouth,” but as we come into chapter 4, Moses is still feeling that way. Notice verse 1 again:

Exodus 4:

1 And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.

Moses said, “I need something to show them.” I think this is a weakness on Moses' part. Moses really didn't need any kind of credentials, but the grace of God is demonstrated by the fact that God gave him some credentials anyway. He thought he needed some, and so God, probably for Moses' sake, gave him the credentials.

The Surprising Nature of the Credentials

Notice in verses 2-9 the surprising nature of these credentials. Moses may have thought that God would give him some very obvious and clear kind of credentials that he could pull out of his wallet and flash in somebody's face and say, “I am God's man. Here is my proof,” but notice the surprising nature of these credentials.

First, they were surprising as to their source. Notice verse 2:

Exodus 4:

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

These credentials that God is going to give to Moses are surprising in that God said, “I am going to give you some credentials, Moses, and I am going to give them to you out of what you already possess.”

Again, here is something that is typical. Sometimes as we think about what God has given us to do, and as we look out over the situation God has placed us in, we think if God would only give us some proof or give us some great position in life or some significant thing that we could do or something special that would demonstrate that I am God's man. But God doesn't operate that way. Even with the man of God, Moses, He used just what Moses already had in his hand. The supply of credentials was from the source that Moses already had. In fact, if you will notice, this was evidently nearly all that he possessed. Look down in verse 19:

Exodus 4:

19 And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.
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.

In this part of the Bible, God lists details very, very carefully; and many times, when God is speaking about the major characters of the Scripture as Moses is, He would have listed in detail everything that Jacob or Esau or Isaac, or whomever it may have been, possessed. As they started out on a journey, you remember how in the book of Genesis it says, “He took forty-seven cattle and three dogs and twenty-six chickens,” and all of the specifics of what they took with them. But here he took his wife and his sons and set them upon an ass. That is not an over-generalization. That is, I believe, a specific list of everything that Moses possessed. He owned a donkey and he had a rod, and that was it.

Coming back to the first part of the chapter, I say that this is a surprising source for the credentials because not only did God supply the credentials from just what Moses had in his hand, but that was all Moses had. God said, “That is going to be your credentials.”

There is a very important application here. We have said again and again that one of the basic concepts of the Scripture is that each one of us has a ministry to perform. In the Body of Christ, we play various functions. Your ministry is different and mine is different from someone else's, but God uses all of us working together to accomplish His purpose in reaching others for Christ and in bringing believers to maturity. We work together in our various ministries. Some ministries are like mine—a teaching ministry, a public kind of ministry. Other ministries are very much behind the scenes, but God has equipped and called each of us to a ministry. But over and over again I have heard people say, and I am sure you have, too, “There is not much the Lord could do with me because I just don't have very much. I am not wealthy. I'm not talented. I'm not eloquent, and there is just not much I can do. I don't know whether God could use me or not.”

Moses was thinking that way. In fact, God had to train Moses to think that way because back in chapter 2, when Moses set out in his own efforts, he had been a dismal failure, so God has put him through forty years of desert schooling to teach him that if anything was going to be done, it was going to have to be done through God. But now Moses may have learned that lesson too well. He may have carried that too far because he said, “Lord, I am so incapable that I am going to need proof that I have come from You.” So God said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “Well, Lord, it is a rod.” Moses didn't say it, but he could have said, “It is fifty percent of my net worth. It is half of what I own—my rod and my donkey; that's all I have.” God said, “I'm going to take what little you have, and I am going to use that for the credentials for your ministry.”

God says the same thing to you and to me. You say, “I'm not very talented. I'm not very gifted,” but God says, “Fine. I'm going to take what little you have, and I am going to use that in a wonderful way.” The credentials had as their source a very surprising nature.

There are many examples of that in the Scripture. In Judges, chapter 7, verses 16-25, we read the story of Gideon. God said, “Gideon, you are going to be the man who is going to deliver Israel from their slavery.” The book of Judges is a book of repetitions of situations in which the Israelites got themselves into slavery and then God would raise up a deliverer and get them out of slavery.

In one particular series of problems the Israelites were having, God said, “Gideon, you are going to be the man.” Gideon called the army together and God said, “Gideon, you have too many.” He had about three hundred thousand men, and God said, “You've got to cut that way down.” They drank at the brook, and God said, “You send home every man who drinks by scooping water up in their hands and not looking around.” Then He gave opportunity for anybody that wanted to go home. Little by little, God whittled that army down to three hundred men. The Scripture tells us that they were going against innumerable Midianites—three hundred men against innumerable Midianites. God won a tremendous victory there and the Midianites actually wound up slaying their own army. God doesn't have to have very much. If God is in it, that is God's credentials.

We have the same thing with the story of Samson in Judges, chapter 15. There we have recorded for us the story of the fact that Samson killed a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass. The jawbone of an ass doesn't sound like very much in the way of ordination credentials, but that is what God used with Samson, and that is all God needed.

Remember the very same thing in the very well known story of David with Goliath in I Samuel, chapter 17. There was a little boy with a slingshot, and God killed the most powerful weapon that the Philistines had. You see, God doesn't need very much. In fact, all that God needs is what little you have. God doesn't really need that. God not only supplies our request for some outward, visible demonstration, but it is God in each of these cases who accomplished the purpose, and it is God who is going to accomplish whatever it is that He wants to use you in. It was God who was going to accomplish what Moses was going to do. Moses wanted some credentials, and God gave him some credentials, and they came from what little Moses had.

In verse 3, we have an interesting development. God tells Moses to throw down what he had. He said, “Cast it on the ground.” Moses cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent. Moses fled before it. I love that understatement in the Scripture. I don't know why God includes some of the things that He does. I am not saying that critically of God; I'm glad that He put it in there. It is interesting to me how realistic verse 3 is. Notice:

Exodus 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.

Well, I suppose he did! It is an extremely difficult thing, if not impossible, to stand still in the presence of a snake. It is a very natural thing. The rod became a snake, and Moses fled from before it. You would, too. That proves if nothing else that it was a real snake. It wasn't that Moses was kind of hot and the desert air was getting to him and he put his rod down and it kind of looked like a snake. No, it was a real snake, so real that Moses started running.

The Surrender of the Credentials

What we have here is a very, very important principle concerning God's use of what we have. We refer to this as the surrender of the credentials . Do you see the situation? Moses said, “God, I need some credentials. I need something to prove to people that I am really your man.” God said, “Moses, I will give you some credentials. What have you got in your hand? I am going to use what you already have.” “Lord, this isn't much. It is just a little staff.” God said, “All right, Moses. That is what I am going to use.” But then God said, “Moses, put it down. Get rid of it.”

It is one thing to recognize that we have very little, but it is another thing for God to say, as He always does, “I want you to put down what little you have.” “I don't have much, Lord,” but the Lord says, “I am going to use it. Now, give it up.” Sometimes we find out how honest we really are or are not. It is a surprising thing when we have very little and we are aware of it, how important that very little becomes to us when God says, “All right, I want you to give it up.”

Did you know that before God can use you, you are going to have to recognize that even what little you have does not belong to you? Moses said, “I don't have much.” God said, “I am going to use what little you have, but I want you to give it up. Throw it down. Put it on the ground.” If you want to be used of God, God will sooner or later, before He can use you, bring you to that point. Oh, you may not have to literally give it up, but you are going to have to face the fact that whatever that little bit of musical talent or whatever little bit of speaking ability or that agile mind or that ability to get along easily with other people or that educational background or that good family breeding and the contacts you have because of your family background or whatever it is that God might use for His glory, you are going to have to put it down and say, “It is not mine.” You are going to have to come face-to-face with the fact that if anything is going to be accomplished, God is going to accomplish it, regardless of what little bit you have.

Sometimes when we face the fact that we are going to have to put it down, we recognize that we don't really think that it is so little after all. Sometimes when God says to put it down, it may seem pretty big. But God said, “Moses, if you want some credentials, you are going to have to put it down.”

Then notice in verse 4 another surprising development:

Exodus 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:

Those of us who are familiar with snakes are probably going to be more aware than those of you who are not familiar with snakes what a test of faith that was. Notice what God said: “Pick it up by the tail.” Remember, God said this to Moses while Moses was in flight. Moses was already running away from the snake and God said, “Stop, Moses. Go back and pick it up by the tail.” Again I say, there is a lesson in that. If you will be willing to put down what little you have that God can use, even though it may seem a very insignificant thing, then what is illustrated here and what is taught specifically in other places in the Scripture is that God will say, “All right, pick it up. Pick it up again.” But He may not say, “Pick it up,” in quite as practical a way as He said to put it down. Don't be surprised if God says, “Pick it up by the tail.” Don't be surprised if that little thing that you put down, God gives back to you in some other way.

Don't be surprised, for example, if what little you have to give to God is an agile mind, and you say, “Here, God. I am putting it down,” and God says, “All right. Pick it up and take it through law school or pick it up and take it through medical school or pick it up and finish high school.” God may give it back to you in some way that you never imagined. He may say, figuratively speaking, “Pick it up by the tail.” Regardless of what way He may tell you to pick it up, when you give it to God, God will give it back to you.

The Rod of God

There is something else that we need to notice that is very, very significant. God had said, “Moses, put your rod down.” The next mention that we have of the rod, after God tells him to pick up the snake is in verse 20, which we have already read regarding Moses' possessions. Notice how it lists this:

Exodus 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 [now notice] took the rod of God in his hand.

The rod of God is never again referred to as Moses' rod . Hereafter, it is always the rod of God . It was Moses' rod, wasn't it? Moses put it down and Moses picked up that same rod again though it was in a little different form than when he laid it down. He picked it up, and it changed back into a rod. No, it wasn't his rod; it was the rod of God. I hope the application is obvious. If you give it to God, God will give it back to you, whatever that little is that He can use. When He gives it back to you, it won't be just that you laid down. Hereafter, it will be the rod of God. It will be God's talent. It will be God's money. It will be God's background. It will be God's education or whatever it is that you laid down as yours when God gives it back.

What a sad thing it is when we pick up that which God gives back to us, and it is now God's rod, but we use it for our own purposes. There is a real temptation to do that. Moses did that, and part of the reason that Moses was never allowed to go into the promised land was that one day, years later, he took that rod of God and struck a rock as God had told him to do to provide water for the Israelites, but he struck that rock twice.

Specifically, the reason that God didn't allow him to go into the promised land was that he was breaking the type of Jesus Christ. That rock, I Corinthians tells us, was Christ, and when Moses struck that rock, it was to be a picture of Christ's being stricken to meet our needs. When Moses struck that rock twice, it broke God's type. God said, “Moses, because you have done something that I didn't tell you to do, because you have taken it on yourself to change My orders, you are not going to be able to go into the promised land.”

Do you see how Moses went about that? He used the rod of God for his own purposes. He used the rod of God to impress the people of Israel: “Must I fetch water from this rock for you?” he asked, and he struck the rock twice. He was using that rod for his own purposes. As far as we know, it was the only time that he used it for his own purposes, but let me tell you something: God delights to use you, and God will use what little you have to the extent that He will make it His, and He will give it back to you to use, but be careful that you don't begin using that for your own purposes. God will never be able to accomplish through you what He wants to accomplish if you take back the rod that is now the rod of God and begin to use it for your own purposes. This is the supply of the credentials. It was in what Moses already possessed, but it became God's possession, and it became mightily used of God through the coming years and months. God used that rod again and again to demonstrate that it was He who was behind Moses and Moses' activity. It was Moses' ordination credentials.

Two More Credentials

God gives two more credentials in verses 6-7. In these verses, He gives him the ability to have leprosy and then to cure leprosy. He says in verse 8: “…They will listen to you…” Can you imagine? Leprosy in that day was something probably like the specter that cancer has in our day. Can you imagine the shock value of the ability to put your hand into your bosom and bring it out all cancerous and eaten with leprosy and then to put your hand back into your bosom and bring it out and have it all clean and smooth flesh again? It was an obvious miracle, and God said in verse 8: “If they won't listen to what I have already given you, they will listen to this.”

Then in verse 9, He gives him the ability to turn the water into blood. Obviously, that is going to impress people, but there is a lesson in this also. There is a lesson in the order in which the credentials are given to Moses. I think we are seeing more and more in our study of Moses that he was just like us. I think this leprosy business and this water to blood business was the kind of thing Moses had in mind when he said, “God, I need some credentials,” or when he said, “God, I have got to have some way to prove to these people that I am Your man.”

I am sure that he thought that God would give him something like the ability to have leprosy and cure it and the ability to turn water into blood. God did do that, but do you see the order that God followed in doing that? So many times we get the cart before the horse. We say, “God, I want a demonstration of Your power over my life and my ministry. I want everybody to know that I am Your man. I want You to use me.”

God says, “All right. Give Me what you've got.” “Lord, that's not very much.” “Give it to Me, anyway. I can use it.” If we can only learn to give Him what little we've got and let Him use that. From the life of Moses, we can see that He can use it in a miraculous way, but if we could learn to give Him what little we've got and let Him begin to use that, then He can give us those impressive, flashy kinds of credentials. God isn't going to give you an obvious demonstration of His power in your life if you are not willing to give Him what little you have right now. If you want it to be obvious to others that you are God's man, the first step is to give Him what little you have.

The first step is to put down your rod and let God give that rod back to you. If God can see that a man is willing to give what little he has, then God knows that He can trust him with leprosy and water turned to blood. That is always God's order. This is the first part of Moses' credentials for the ministry—miraculous provision of a demonstration of God's power, but done in a very practical way.

The Cooperating Spokesman

In verses 10-17, the other part of God's supply of credentials is what I refer to as the cooperating spokesman . Here we have the same kind of outline again. In verses 10-17, we have a supposed need for a spokesman. Notice verse 10:

Exodus 4:

10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

“I need a spokesman,” Moses said. We have Moses' reticence: “Lord, I just can't do it. You have given me a sign of your power. You have given me something I can demonstrate to the people with, but even with that, I cannot carry out the job. I can't talk well enough.”

Notice God's reassurance in verse 11:

Exodus 4:

11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Some Bible scholars believe that Moses may actually have had a speech impediment and that Moses was not just making up some kind of an excuse when in verse 10 he said, “Lord, I'm slow of speech. I can't speak plainly.” There is no linguistic nor historical proof of that, but it is an interesting thing to think about. Moses may actually have had some kind of speech impediment, but whether it was just an excuse he was making or whether it was a literal problem that he had, it is interesting to notice God's answer. God said, “Moses, who made your mouth in the first place? So you have a speech impediment. So what! Do you think I didn't know that when I called you?”

Moses may have thought that God would have said, in answer to his complaint, that he couldn't talk plain, “Oh, I forgot about that. I can't use Moses after all. Here I have been training him for forty years, and I overlooked his speech impediment. I will have to find somebody else.”

It may sound almost irreverent for me to say that, but you know, I am saying it because I am afraid that so often we say that. God puts something in our path, and it is obviously what God wants us to do and we say, “Lord, I can't do that,” as if we expected God to say, “Ah, I forgot. You can't do that. I made a mistake.”

If God brings it into your life, God knew your limitations when He brought it. If Moses had a speech impediment, God knew that, and God called him anyway. That is exactly what He says in verse 11: “Who has made your mouth, and who made speech impediments and who made the inability to speak and who made the ability to speak? Moses, you go, and I will be with you as you go.”

The Biblical reference for this is Psalm 139, which tells us that God knew every detail before we were born. In fact, God made us just the way we are. God gives him another reminder in verse 12:

Exodus 4:

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Again, it is interesting to assume that Moses may have had a speech impediment, and God didn't even necessarily promise to do away with the speech impediment, but He just said, “Moses, you go and I will be with you.”

There is a very important application here and the application is this: God is not necessarily looking for men with great ability. God is looking for men who are willing to be yielded to Him. God said, “Moses, I am going to use you anyway. I made your mouth, and I know whatever problems are with it. I am going to use you anyway.”

Theodore Epp once said, “While men seek better methods, God seeks better men.” Did you know that is true? Sometimes the only reason God is not able to use an individual is that that person simply will not let God use him. He may think that he is unqualified. He may not believe the direction of God, but for whatever reason, he is the person who stands in the way of God's being able to use him. In fact, I Corinthians tells us that God even sometimes chooses men who don't have any ability just so that it can be clear where the power comes from. God sometimes deliberately chooses men who are weak from the standpoint of the flesh so that everyone can see that this is God's man, and that was the idea with Moses.

Moses' Reluctant Agreement

In verse 13, we have Moses' reluctant agreement. Moses says:

Exodus 4:

13 And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.

I think the American Standard version translates this a little more clearly. It says, “Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever Thou wilt.” The idea behind verse 13 is that Moses still wasn't really convinced that God could do it, but his idea was, “All right, God. If that is who You have chosen, okay, but I still don't see how you can do it.”

Notice God's reaction to that in verse 14:

Exodus 4:

14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses…

That is the reason that we have the understanding that verse 13 was not a statement of faith; it was a statement of doubt. “Okay, Lord. If that is the best you can do, I'll go,” and so God gets angry with Moses.

God does something that is going to be a reminder to Moses for the rest of his life of God's power. God gives Moses a spokesman. God had already clearly revealed to Moses what He wanted him to do, and Moses was afraid to do what God wanted him to do, so God gave him something that was clearly second best. In the last part of verse 14, God said:

Exodus 4:

14 …Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

God gives Moses a spokesman. If we peruse the following verses of Exodus we will find that he is a very superficial spokesman. Aaron, Moses' brother, could speak eloquently, but his very eloquence continually got him in trouble. Over and over again we find that Aaron was a constant hindrance to the ministry. He was the one who, in Exodus, chapter 32, while Moses was up on the mountain getting the commandments from God, led the people into idol worship. Because of his eloquence, because he could speak well, he was able to persuade people, but he led them directly away from God's plan for them. In Numbers, chapter 12, Aaron became convinced that he didn't have an important enough place in the program, so he led a rebellion against Moses. So he was again just a hindrance.

Another thing for us to notice, as we come back to Exodus, chapter 4, is not only was he a hindrance, but really he was helpless anyway. What God did was to put Moses in a position that he had to constantly think about something that he probably would not have had to give much thought to otherwise. Notice in verse 15:

Exodus 4:

15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.

Notice that Moses was going to have to tell Aaron what to say. Aaron was never supposed to speak on his own. God said, “All right, Moses, you can't talk well. I tell you what to say and then you tell Aaron what to say and Aaron will tell the people.” Then He said, “I'll strengthen Aaron in order to say it.”

So you see, God provided him a spokesman, but he was a very supernatural spokesman. Moses, because of his unbelief, because of his unwillingness to follow God's specific program, had to settle for something that was second best. But you know, the wonderful thing is that God, in His grace, used Moses anyway. Isn't that a wonderful thing? God still was able to use Moses to, in a miraculous way, bring the people out of their slavery and guide the people through all those years. He had that excess baggage of having to stop and tell Aaron every time he wanted to tell the people something, and he had the excess baggage of trying to straighten Aaron out when Aaron got himself and the people into trouble, but God was able to use Moses anyway.

The final thing that I want us to think about by way of application is this: How much better would it have been if Moses hadn't been so uncertain and if Moses had believed God when God said, “Moses, I will be with your mouth, and I will tell you what to say.”

He could have eliminated the middleman. He could have avoided a lot of problems. You may not have much to give God. Many of you say, “There is not much for which God can use me.” Some of you may have much to give God, from a human standpoint, and you are aware of that; but whether you have much or whether you have little, God is going to say to you, “If you want to use it for My glory, if you want to be My man, put it down.” Then God is going to give it back to you and it is going to be God's rod in your hand.

If, by faith, you follow God to that extent, don't continue to put demands on God. If you will take that rod back, God's rod in your hand, be prepared for God to do things in your life and through your life that you never dreamed possible. Never forget that if God gives His rod back to you, He will use you in a mighty way, but He knows exactly how He can use you.

Some of us have had the experience of facing situations that are bigger than we think we are able to handle, but God would say to us as He said to Moses, “Moses, who made your mouth? You think you can't talk plain. Moses, I knew that when I called you. Moses, I knew that when I put you in this situation.”

Conclusion

You think that you can't handle that which God has given you to do. You think you have a shortcoming that prevents you from that. Don't you think God knew that when He brought that thing into your life? God wants to use you. God want to use what you have given to Him to bring honor and glory to Himself. The first lesson you need to learn, if you have not already done it, is to give what little you have to God.

The next lesson that is important to learn is to let Him use that in any way that He chooses, whether you think it is bigger than you can handle or not. God help us to learn by the example of the life of Moses so that He won't have to teach us by experience.


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