What’s in Your Hand?

The story is told in Exodus 4 about Moses being sent by God to confront Pharaoh. Moses, being afraid, tried to bargain with God; “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?” Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied. The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.”

Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”

Now this was not just a stick Moses picked up to play with. It was not just a walking stick. The staff, or rod as the scripture calls it, was essential to making a living as a shepherd. It was a tool. Shepherds used the crooked end to pull sheep back into the herd when they strayed. It was a handy extension of their arm to grasp things just beyond their reach.

The blunt end was important, too. If a wild animal attacked, the shepherd could use the end to poke it away. He could also use the staff like a baseball bat and beat back offenders if needed. The staff was, indeed, a necessity for making a living, and sometimes for simply staying alive. No shepherd dared leave home without it. The rod was indispensable, essential, and vital to the everyday life of the shepherd.

“Throw it down.”
For all Moses knew, God was telling him to get rid of his rod. He might never see it again. And it was a good rod. It had just the right grip and flex and swing weight. Moses was used to it.

There were many fond memories attached to that rod, too. The wild animals he had fought off. The sheep he had saved. The comfort and support it gave him when he twisted his ankle a few months ago. Moses could buy or cut a new rod, but it just wouldn’t be the same.

“Throw it down.”
God was asking Moses to throw down that one possession that was most important. A tunic, a cloak, a few coins, even a sandal or two would not have made much difference. But to throw down his rod was to give up his means for making a living. To get rid of it could mean death in the desert where wild animals and thieves thrived. The Bible says that Moses threw the rod down instead of complaining about how much his life depended on it.
Are there things that you are holding in your hands that impede the relationship between you and your spouse? What’s in your hand? Is it money, pride, ego, communication or lack thereof? Is it another relationship, pornography, thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of town? Is it your cell phone, laptop, or tablet? What’s in your hand?
God is testing us right now! As the body of Christ we fail very poorly.

Why? Because we refuse to submit our lives to Him, the One who is the compass to a healthy relationship with our spouse. We are not willing to throw down our most valuable possessions like pride, selfishness, boastfulness, ego, self centeredness just to name a few.

What will happen if we throw down what we have in our hands? By doing so, we are subjecting ourselves to His will; we are allowing ourselves to be used by Him; we are subjecting ourselves to the Master Compass as He lead us to a Christ filled relationship with our spouse.

Focus on your commitment to your spouse. You may not be able to part the Red Sea, but you can open doors of opportunity to more laughter. Where there was rain the sun can begin to shine again; where there was pain the healing can begin.

You may not be able to strike water from a rock, but you can give back to your family as God pours His grace, love, and mercy into you. You may not conquer enemies, but you can provide valuable resources necessary to overcome obstacles standing in the way of a better relationship with your spouse.

When Moses threw down his rod, he did not know what to expect. When God allowed him to pick it back up, Moses performed miracles remembered throughout human history. When we trust God enough to throw down what’s in our hands, we cannot know what to expect. When we allow ourselves to be used by Him, He can perform miracles that will transform our relationships.

What’s in your hand? Throw it down!

By Edward J. Smith III