Scripture Reading: Exodus 4:1-5; 17-20

...and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. Exodus 4:20

When Moses was commanded by God to lead the people of Israel out of bondage, he was told to take with him the rod which he held in his hand. He probably was surprised that he was commissioned to take this old, weatherbeaten staff into Pharaoh's throne room, but he soon found that "little is much when God is in it." This simple shepherd's rod was to become the wonderful wand which would be used to divide the Red Sea, bring forth water out of the rock, and be turned at will into a serpent. It was to serve as a scepter of power and authority as he led Israel through the wilderness.

This rod had another function too — it would remind Moses of his forty years on the "back side of the desert." Originally he had sought to lead the children of Israel out of bondage in his own strength and had failed miserably. Discouraged, he sulked in seclusion. Yet Moses needed this communion with the Lord to prepare him for his task. For a full four decades he tended sheep in relative obscurity. Here he was empowered and mellowed for his life's important mission. This rod, therefore, was a humbling reminder of his early mistakes. But, he also held it in his hand when he had his wondrous "burning bush" experience. It would hence also serve as an encouragement to him, assuring him that his was a Divine mission whose success was guaranteed by the power of God.

We, too, need to carry our rod with us! If we would only admit our past mistakes and profit by the lessons the Lord has taught us, we would not allow ambition or pride to hinder our present service. On the other hand, our true calling and the source of our power should keep us from being discouraged. Take a firm grasp on your rod, Christian, for humility and spiritual vision will result in power. Remember, it was through the instrumentality of His rod that Moses wrought miracles for the Lord! (H.G.B.)

Oh Master, let me walk with Thee,

In lowly paths of service free;

Tell me Thy secret; help me bear

The strain of toil, the fret of care.

— W. Gladden

"For effective service for God, both surrender and vision are necessary." — G.W.

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