Throughout Exodus, God used a shepherd’s staff to show Moses, the Israelites and other nations His power and presence.
As Moses leaves his encounter with God at the burning bush, God tells him in Exodus 4:17 to take his shepherd’s staff and use it to perform the miraculous signs God has shown him.
When Moses and Aaron appeared before Pharaoh in Exodus 7-10, we see several times when Moses or Aaron throw down a staff or raise a staff and God works.
God tells Moses to pick up his staff, raise his hand over the sea and divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.
When the Israelites come to Rephidim, there was no water for the people to drink. God instructs Moses to hit the rock, water will come out it and the people will drink.
Each time Moses picks up his staff, he remembers the mighty miracles of God.
While the Israelites were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses tells Joshua to choose some men – ordinary men with no military experience – to go out and fight the army of Amalek.
Exodus 17:10-13 (NLT): So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.
When Moses held up his hand, this describes the Israelite posture of prayer.
As Joshua and the Israelites fought with the sword, Moses fought with prayer. He stood on the hill before the Israelites so they could look up and see God fighting for them and witness Moses’ dependence on God.
God used Moses’ staff to represent His power and presence. God used an ox goad in Shamgar’s hand (Judges 3:31) to kill 600 Philistines, a sling and stones in David’s hands (1 Samuel 17:49) to defeat a giant, a jawbone of a donkey in Samson’s hand (Judges 15:15) to kill a thousand Philistines, and five loaves and two fish in the hand of a little boy (John 6:9) to feed 5,000 men.
What has God placed in your hands in this season of your life that you will use to serve Him?
- Note cards and a pen to write notes of encouragement.
- An oven mitt to cook a meal or bake cookies for a neighbor or coworker.
- A ball to connect with youth or college students as you play and build friendships and have Gospel conversations.
- A car to drive international university students to the store or run errands.
- A rake or lawn mower to help a neighbor.
- A basket to take snacks to a hospital waiting room.
What has God placed in your hands that you can use to share the power, the presence and the love of God?