“The Miracle In Your Hand”
Exodus 3:15-22 NKJV Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ (16) Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; (17) and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ‘ (18) Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.’ (19) But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. (20) So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. (21) And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. (22) But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
God gives Moses the plan on what will transpire in the deliverance of the Children of Israel.
We know that Moses had the five arguments as to why he should not be the one to deliver the Children of Israel.
Moses puts forth five arguments as to why he cannot be the one to deliver the Children of Israel:
- Who am I Lord?
He is powerless in himself. It no longer matters who you are but only in Who I Am.
Exodus 3:11-12 NKJV (11) But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (12) So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
- Who are You?
Exodus 3:13-14 NKJV (13) Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” (14) And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ “
- What will I tell the courts of Pharaoh?
Exodus 4:1-5 NKJV (1) 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.’ ” (2) So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” (3) 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. (4) 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), (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, has appeared to you.”
- I can’t speak.
Exodus 4:10-12 NKJV (10) Then Moses said to the LORD, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (11) So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? (12) Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
Acts 7:22 NKJV (22) And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.
Even though this wasn’t totally true, God has a sense of humor and says, “Fine, Aaron can talk for you…”
- I really don’t want to go.
Exodus 4:13 NKJV (13) But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”
Exodus 4:13 AMP (13) And he said, Oh, my Lord, I pray You, send by the hand of [some other] whom You will [send].
When we see Moses again at the burning bush, he is a shell of the man he used to be. That is a good thing because now God can fill him with Himself.
God wants to do the same thing in us.
Ephesians 3:19 NKJV to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 5:18 NKJV And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
Colossians 3:16 NKJV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
The best revelation that we can arrive at is that the Christian life is impossible to live. (in yourself)
But through Him, all things are possible!
Exodus 4:1-9 NKJV 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.’ ” (2) So the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.” (3) 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. (4) 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), (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, has appeared to you.” (6) Furthermore the LORD said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. (7) And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh. (8) “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign. (9) And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.”
We see here that in God’s visitation to Moses, God asked Moses the question, “What is it that you have in your hand?”
Sometimes, what we hold in our hands and is closest to us becomes so common that we forget that God can use it to accomplish His will, plan and purpose in our lives.
Think about how many times throughout the next 40 years God uses the staff to perform miracles, etc.
John 6:9 NKJV “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
The disciples totally discounted what they had in their hands but that is what Jesus wanted to use.
Notice God gives Moses three supernatural signs to convince the Children of Israel that he was sent from God.
Exodus 4:5 NKJV “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.”
- The first of the signs to Moses was the turning of his shepherd’s staff into a snake and back into a staff. Grabbing a snake by its tail was normally a dangerous thing to do! To follow the Lord’s directive took courage and faith. Because snakes symbolized power and life to the Egyptians, God was declaring to Moses that he would be able to overcome the powers of Egypt. He was going to take the nation of Egypt by the tail. This miracle, God said, would cause the Israelites to believe that He, the God of the patriarchs (cf. Exo_2:24; Exo_3:6, Exo_3:15-16) had spoken to Moses.
Luke 10:19 NKJV Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
- The second sign was his hand became leprous and its healing. This disease was prevalent in Egypt and was considered incurable. With this illness the skin appears to be white. Moses had run in fear from the snake (Exo_4:3). Now he must have been horrified when he withdrew his smitten hand from his garment. But then he was probably filled with reverential awe when it was suddenly cleansed. This represents sin and what it has done to the hearts of men and only the power of God can deliver men from it. This sign, God said, might be more effective with the people than the first one (Exo_4:8). Thus Moses’ fear that no one would believe he was commissioned by God was placated.
- The third sign would be Moses’ miraculous ability to turn water from the Nile into blood (Exo_4:9). The Egyptians regarded the Nile River as the source of life and productivity. So Moses’ showing the people that he had power over the Nile would prove that God had given Moses ability to overcome the Egyptians. Later Moses performed these miracles before the Israelites (Exo_4:29-30) and as God predicted (Exo_4:5, Exo_4:8), the people believed (Exo_4:31). Interestingly the first plague was similar to the third sign: When Aaron hit the Nile River with his staff the water turned to blood (Exo_7:17-21).
These signs were designed to convince the people of Israel that Moses was sent by God. They spoke of God’s power over Satan (i.e., the serpent), and sin (pictured by the leprosy) and of the fact that Israel would be redeemed from both of these through blood.
Before God uses you to do something great for Him, He will always do what He needs to do to make sure that your faith is strong. In other words, He cannot use us when we don’t believe that He wants to use us and that He can use us.
So He will do some things to help your faith by demonstrating Himself to you so that you will be ready for the task ahead.
ALL THAT WE DO FOR HIM WILL BE DONE BY FAITH IN WHAT HE HAS SAID!
Exodus 4:18-26 NKJV So Moses went and returned to Jethro his father-in-law, and said to him, “Please let me go and return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see whether they are still alive.” And Jethro said to Moses, “Go in peace.” (19) Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, “Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead.” (20) Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand. (21) And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. (22) Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. (23) So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.” ‘ ” (24) And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. (25) Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” (26) So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.
Moses had already circumcised his first son Gershom but did not circumcise his second son and because of his disobedience he became very sick. He then instructed Zipporah to circumcise their second son and this caused her to become so angry with him that she and the two sons eventually moved back to Midian.
Exodus 18:1-12 NKJV And Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people—that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. (2) Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Zipporah, Moses’ wife, after he had sent her back, (3) with her two sons, of whom the name of one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a stranger in a foreign land”) (4) and the name of the other was Eliezer (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”); (5) and Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness, where he was encamped at the mountain of God. (6) Now he had said to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” (7) So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, bowed down, and kissed him. And they asked each other about their well-being, and they went into the tent. (8) And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had come upon them on the way, and how the LORD had delivered them. (9) Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. (10) And Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh, and who has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. (11) Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them.” (12) Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.
Because of the assignment and ministry that Moses was called to, Zipporah ended up staying in Midian and not going with Moses and Moses ended up divorcing her.
Because of his calling, Zipporah, did not continue with the relationship.
1 Corinthians 7:15 NKJV But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
We know that Moses ended up getting remarried later in life.
Numbers 12:1 NKJV Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
Exodus 5:1 NKJV Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ “
When Moses goes and speaks to Pharaoh and asks him to let the people go so that they may go and sacrifice to God, Pharaoh refuses and then demands that they start making brick with no straw provided and must gather their own straw to make the bricks. Then the taskmasters start demanding that they produce at the same speed as if they had straw.
Moses goes to God and says to God, “Pharaoh did not let the people go and made matters worse for them.”
God then shows up and says what He is going to do to deliver the Children of Israel.
Exodus 6:1-8 NKJV Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” (2) And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the LORD. (3) I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them. (4) I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. (5) And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. (6) Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (7) I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (8) And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD.’ “
The thing that is interesting is that the Children of Israel did not hear what God was saying because of their own anguish of spirit.
Exodus 6:9 AMPC Moses told this to the Israelites, but they refused to listen to Moses because of their impatience and anguish of spirit and because of their cruel bondage.
Moses then still wants to try and get out of leading the people out but God again assures him that he is the one that is chosen for the task.
Exodus 6:12 NKJV And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, “The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?”
Exodus 7:3-5 NKJV And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. (4) But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. (5) And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
God does not harden the hearts of men. They harden their own hearts by the choices that they make. God will not override the will of a man. The Lord is simply saying that what I am about to do will cause Pharaoh’s heart to be hardened until he decides to let the people go.
All ten plagues were going to take on the most prominent gods of the Egyptians and defeat them.
Everything that they worshiped or had confidence in is defeated or destroyed by God.
The lesson that we will learn next week is that God’s Word does work and He will perform the thing which He has declared.