Last week’s column left off with the excuses Moses gave when God gave him a mission.
God persisted; he wanted Moses to be his representative in Egypt — and Moses gave another excuse.
“God, I am a wanted criminal back in Egypt,” Moses said. “Shoot, they will catch me and cut off my head if I go back there!”
“No they won’t,” God said. “I’ll protect you. Don’t worry about it. Everything will turn out just fine.”
“How can you protect me against those Egyptians?” Moses asked — not realizing he requested a challenge.
“Moses, take your hand and stick it inside your robe,” God said.
Moses did so.
“Now take it out,” God said.
Moses’ hand was covered with leprosy. Can’t you imagine him thinking, “What am I supposed to do now? I can’t eat properly, I can’t drink properly. I can’t even see my wife and children anymore!”
God said, “I will show you my power. Stick your hand back into your robe.”
Moses put his hand back into his robe and took it out again; it had returned to normal. Moses was struck speechless.
Then, God asked Moses to throw his shepherd’s staff the ground.
Can you just imagine Moses thinking, “This staff is the only thing I can call my own, and you want me to throw it down? Please don’t take this away from me.”
Still, Moses threw the staff on the ground, and the rod turned into a hissing snake.
Now, I don’t know about you, but if I had a rod in my hand and it turned into a hissing snake, I wouldn’t wait around to see what happened next. But Moses didn’t have that option: God asked Moses to pick up the snake by the tail.
Moses did, and the snake immediately turned back into a shepherd’s staff.
God calmly said, “Do you see what I am trying to say to you? With me showing you what to do — backing you up — you are going to be able to take that shepherd’s staff and part the sea. You will be able to lead the Hebrew people out of bondage and out of Egypt to freedom. You are going to be able to use that staff to strike Pharaoh dead.
“All of this because you heard my call and followed me.”
What about you? Do you make excuses for not serving God’s will? Are you focused on yourself, not wanting to rock the boat or do something to cause others to shy away from you?
When God calls you to do something, God will give you whatever is necessary to accomplish the task. Don’t make excuses — just trust God.
There is just a little more of this story to share with you. Look for the final “chapter” in the Sept. 28 edition.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.