Identity Crisis-Part 2
And now the rest of the story (as Paul Harvey would say) from Dana's journal.
"And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod." Exodus 4:2
Moses was about to learn that his days as a shepherd of sheep was nothing more than a long training program for his life's purpose as God's shepherd of people, an identity he still has today thousands of years after his days on earth, and will follow him into eternity.
So let's go back to Mount Sinai.
God has just had a conversation with Moses explaining in detail his plan for him and the Hebrew captives, and now asks the burning (literally) question, "What is that in thine hand?" In other words, "What are you holding onto so tightly that it prevents you from obeying my will for you?" Now when Moses answered, "A rod", please understand this was much more than just a stick to him, this was who he was. The staff identified him as a shepherd, an identity Moses had worn proudly for forty years. All of his young life he had longed to fit in, to have a sense of belonging, and now in the hills of Midian with his family and the sheep, Moses was at ease and comfortable with who he had become. Here he didn't have to try and figure out or feel guilty about who he was, he didn't have to worry over whether he was Hebrew or Egyptian, slave or royalty. He was a shepherd.
What happened next is one of the most awesome acts of obedience in all of scripture. God knew the heart of Moses. He knew Moses loved his family and his identity as a shepherd, which was evident in the way he clung to his staff. So God commanded Moses to throw it down on the ground, not just lay it aside, throw it down! Moses did as the Lord said and it became a serpent, and out of fear he fled from it. The Lord then commanded him to take it back up, and it became a rod again. As Moses took up his staff it was no longer just a rod, it was the instrument of faith in the power of God in the hand of His shepherd. The rod was now a divine tool, as was Moses in the hand of God. We see in this encounter that Holy God did not want to take away the identity of Moses, He wanted him to submit as a servant so he could bless him.
Moses would carry the staff for the rest of his life and would use it as a demonstration of God's power and sovereign will over and over again. From that moment even until now Moses was given a new identity, the Shepherd of the Hebrews.
This was the result of him not only hearing the Lord, but doing as he was instructed. As I consider this I can't help but wonder how many of us the Lord may be asking that same question, "What is that in thine hand?"
What is your identity? You know we all have one. It's that picture that comes to mind in all who know us when our name is mentioned. It could be worker, joker, leader, quiet, or talkative. The list goes on and on; you may be a person of power, prestige, an athlete, a giver, or one who will not be taken. Just say your name and then fill in the blank, "Who am I?"
You get the point. We all have an identity that sets us apart and makes each of us unique. The question is, would you throw it down? Can you trust the Lord enough that you are willing to put down your identity for the sake of the call, or are you too afraid of losing yourself? It could just be that you, like Moses, may be allowed to take your identity right back up once you have been obedient and cast it down and God has placed His blessing upon it. Or it could be that the Lord wants you to leave it there on the altar of sacrifice so that He can bless you with a brand new one, an identity straight from the heart of God!
So what are you holding in your hand? As God speaks to your heart be assured that He knows what is best for you and He desires to bless your life. Trust the Lord!
I love you & He loves you more!
Dear Lord, Thank You for this life we get to read about in Your Word. The steps Moses took in being obedient to You, even during his doubts and fears, speaks to me in my life today. Help me to place my faith in You and take courage in knowing that You will see me through. I give You the glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.