Editorial: What is in Thy Hand?

This was the Lord’s question to His reluctant servant Moses1. What was in his hand? A rod it seemed an ordinary thing to Moses. He was likely familiar with it and it undoubtedly had served him well. But this ordinary rod became something quite extraordinary. It proved to demonstrate the supremacy of the God Moses served. It was soon to be called ‘the rod of God’2

 When the Lord called Moses to be His spokesman and to lead the nation out from Egypt it was based on God’s careful preparation of His servant for the task. Moses’ reluctance and unbelief provoked the anger of the Lord. The fearful servant could not see that God had anticipated everything and knew precisely what He was doing in calling Moses to the task at hand.

It is difficult to be critical of Moses because he demonstrates an all too common trait found in many of us. Moses was overwhelmed at the immensity of God’s call to him. He immediately felt his own inadequacies and weakness. And that in itself is a good thing. However Moses was only looking inward but he failed to look upward. He was not called because of some particular natural ability. He was called because God had and would yet do a mighty work through His servant. But everything that Moses needed would be provided by the Lord.

The Lord has continued to work that way in moving His purposes forward. He uses men and women who have nothing naturally to contribute. He will equip and prepare them Himself to accomplish the task. The seemingly humble rod that appeared so common became the instrument that demonstrated God’s power. But Moses learned another aspect of how God works. You may recall how the Lord commanded Moses to put his hand into his cloak and pull it out again. It became full of leprosy. He put his hand again into his cloak and it was clean3. Not only did Moses learn God’s power would be seen through the rod, he learned that the power did not come from himself. Leprosy is often a picture of sin in the Bible. And Moses learned a lesson that Paul would later put this way, ‘For I know that in me, (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing;….’4 The flesh remains in all of us until we get to heaven. It never improves and is ugly right to the end. Every one who serves the Lord needs to know this. It is folly to think the flesh can either accomplish anything or will improve or cease to be a danger because of our spirituality. The flesh can no longer control, but it will make every effort to try.

What is your hand today? What circumstance or ability has the Lord developed in your life that He wants to use? What daunting task has come to mind that overwhelms you and is far beyond your own ability? The Lord uses men and women who have no confidence in self and every confidence in Him. Do you feel inadequate, a sense of failure, conscious of your own ugly flesh? After looking inward, look outward and upward.

Kittie L. Suffield reminds of this timeless truth in her hymn :

In the harvest field now ripened There’s a work for all to do; Hark! the voice of God is calling To the harvest calling you.

Little is much when God is in it! Labor not for wealth or fame. There’s a crown—and you can win it, If you go in Jesus’ Name.

In the mad rush of the broad way, In the hurry and the strife, Tell of Jesus’ love and mercy, Give to them the Word of Life.

Does the place you’re called to labor Seem too small and little known? It is great if God is in it, And He’ll not forget His own.

Are you laid aside from service, Body worn from toil and care? You can still be in the battle, In the sacred place of prayer.

When the conflict here is ended And our race on earth is run, He will say, if we are faithful, “Welcome home, My child—well done!

This was the secret of Moses work for God. Yes, he had some missteps along the way. He was slow in faith, but God was patient and he was used in a big way. Likewise we too follow imperfectly. There will be failures of faith, but even these prove to be stepping stones to greater faith.

What is in thine hand?

“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.”5



1. Exodus 4:2  2. Exodus 4:20

3. Exodus 4:6, 7  4. Romans 7:18

5. Deuteronomy 34:10-12




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