In Exodus 3:16-17 the Lord God instructed Moses to go unto and gather together the elders of Israel and to deliver the Lord’s message of deliverance unto them. Then in the opening line of Exodus 3:18, the Lord God declared, “And they shall hearken to thy voice.” Yet in Exodus 4:1 Moses questioned the Lord God on this matter – “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.” In response the Lord God provided Moses with a series of miraculous signs, with the purpose “that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.” (Exodus 4:5) Even so, we are taught through these miraculous signs of our Lord God’s sovereign power over the matters of our lives.
Our Lord God’s Sovereign Power over Insignificant & Threatening
In Exodus 3:2-5 the Lord God provided the first series of signs, involving an insignificant shepherd’s staff and a threatening poisonous serpent. “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: that they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.”
That rod in Moses’ hand was nothing more than a wooden shepherd’s staff. Certainly, it was of some small significance as a tool for the lowly task of shepherding. Yet it was truly insignificant when compared to so many other objects of this world. However, the Lord our God has the sovereign power to turn the insignificant into something powerful, which He demonstrated by miraculously turning the insignificant shepherd’s rod into a threatening poisonous serpent. Indeed, from this threatening poisonous serpent, Moses fled away. On the other hand, the Lord our God also has the sovereign power to turn that which is naturally powerful into something insignificant, which He demonstrated by empowering Moses to take up that poisonous serpent by the tail and to have miraculously turn back into a shepherd’s staff.
Indeed, we might view these things as a representation of Moses’ case in relation to the Pharaoh of Egypt. Pharaoh sat in the place of great authority over the powerful land of Egypt. Yea, he sat in that place with threatening fierceness against the insignificant people of God, the children of Israel. Furthermore, he sat in that place with natural power and threatening fierceness against the insignificant man of God, Moses the shepherd. Indeed, from that seat of natural power and threatening fierceness, Moses had fled away forty years before. Yet now the Lord God intended, by His sovereign power, to turn everything in the other direction. Now the Lord God to move Moses from the place of an insignificant shepherd to the place of power and to move Pharaoh from the place of threatening power to the place of insignificance. Even so, we must understand that it is not it is not by our natural might or by our natural power that the Lord our God works. Yea, we must understand and trust that the Lord our God can and will use that which is naturally insignificant to accomplish great things for His great glory.
Our Lord God’s Sovereign Power over Death & Life
In Exodus 4:6-8 the Lord God then provided the second series of miraculous signs, involving the curse of leprosy and healing from leprosy. “And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.”
Herein the leprosy itself represented death. Even so, the Lord our God has sovereign power over death, which He demonstrated by causing Moses’ healthy hand to become utterly leprous “as snow.” On the other hand, the Lord our God also has sovereign power over life, which He demonstrated by causing Moses’ leprous hand to be completely healed in a single moment from the leprosy. Indeed, when the Lord our God determines to curse and judge with death, none can stay His sovereign hand. In like manner, when the Lord our God determines to prevent death and to provide life, none can overcome His sovereign will. Such was the Lord God’s intent in relation to the nation of Egypt and the nation of Israel. The Lord God intended, by His sovereign power, to curse and judge Egypt with death and to deliver and promote His people Israel unto life, even unto the abundant life of the Promised Land. Even so, we must learn to trust our Lord in every situation to accomplish His sovereign and righteous will.
Our Lord God’s Sovereign Power over Judgment & Justice
Finally, in Exodus 4:9 the Lord provided yet one further miraculous sign. “And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” In each of the previous scenarios, there was a miraculous sign and its miraculous reversal. Yet in this scenario there is only the single miraculous sign of water from the Nile River being poured out and turned into blood upon the ground. This represented the Lord God’s sovereign power and sovereign hand in bringing judgment and justice upon Egypt, the oppressors of His people. The water from the Nile River represented the natural power of Egypt. Furthermore, the transformation of that water into blood represented the just judgment and divine destruction that the Lord God intended to bring upon Egypt. Finally, the fact the water of the Nile River was take up and poured out by the hand of Moses represented that the Lord God would bring this judgment and destruction upon Egypt through the hand of His servant Moses. Even so, we must trust our Lord to bring forth His judgment and justice against the wicked in His time and in His way.
Posted in Meditations in Exodus, Sovereignty of the Lord, Almighty Power of God, Trust in God, Deliverance of Our Lord, Judgment of Our Lord