Exodus 4:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Miraculous Signs for Pharaoh
1 Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’”
2 So the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
3 And He said, “Cast it on the ground.” So he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand),
5 “that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”
6 Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow.
7 And He said, “Put your hand in your bosom again.” So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out of his bosom, and behold, it was restored like his other flesh.
8 “Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign.
9 And it shall be, if they do not believe even these two signs, or listen to your voice, that you shall take water from the river[a] and pour it on the dry land. The water which you take from the river will become blood on the dry land.”
10 Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
11 So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?
12 Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
In Exodus note how God is able to use, or save, anyone.
--God can take anybody, even a nobody, to make somebody of everybody! It is all through the Bible!
--Whoever you are, God is able to use you, my friend.
"Come now, I will (use) you,"God, told Moses (Ex. 3:10).
--He used William R. Newell a Chicago teacher, to write the hymn, At Calvary, many love to sing.
--R.G. LeTourneau, guest in our home and churches, was an inventor-businessman, God used mightily.
--He founded LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas.
--He lived on 10%, gave away 90% of income to God.
--Adoniram and Ann Judson God used in Burma, served 7 years before a convert! Then they began to come!
--Willing to be used! Translated the Bible in Burmese!
Not from a burning bush, yet God is calling us today.
--Calling by the grace of Jesus' sacrifice on a cross.
--Calling as he did Moses, to our service for God.
--Moses' parents were slaves, as all Israelites then.
--His parents were believers in God. Preserved Moses.
--All boy babies were being killed at birth.
--God rescued Moses, by royalty. Well educated.
--But now Moses tended sheep, in a barren desert.
--"Come, bring My people out of Egypt," God called.
--"I have heard their cries .. come to rescue" (3:7).
Like He needed Moses, God needs us. We need the Lord.
--He needs everyone of us, to follow, and serve Him.
--You may think, "What do I have God can use?"
--You have emu! To God, you are very valuable!
--God said, "I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you and not to harm you .. to give you hope, and a future" (Jeremiah '29:11). Let's grab His offer!
You and I know many, over the years, God has used.
--As long as one person is enslaved in sin God calls.
-—As He called Moses. To set Israel free in Egypt.
--The Lord wants to use us. Some want to "use" God.
--People get tangled up in the web of the world.
--Need to be set free. Shown the way, if gone astray.
--All need Jesus, "the way, the truth, the life."
--Come, join the way that s worthwhile!
Moses was reluctant. Had all kinds of excuses.
--"Who am I that I should go?" (Ex. 3:10).
--"What shall I say?" (Ex, 3:13).
--"They will not believe me or listen" (Ex. 4:1).
--I am not eloquent .. I am slow of speech" (4:10).
--But for every excuse, God had an answer.
--God promises, "I'll be with you!" Says it to us!
My dear friend, if God is with us "who can be against us?" Is not God enough? Does God fail His own?
So like most of us, Moses felt inadequate, till given this blessed assurance, "I'll be with you," from God.
--May I say as a young Christian, no one ever was more inadequate inadequate than I, when God called me to ministry!
--Who was I to preach Christ? Teach, and evangelize?
--But God called me. Not from a bush that burned.
--As He said to Moses, "I need you," God spoke to me.
--"I need you to deliver My people in need."
--Just as the Lord needed Moses, God needs each of us.
In our fine church in West Virginia was a man who had a large, lovely garden he and his wife liked to share.
--He always invited the men and boys to a corn roast!
--He showed the men his many varieties of vegetables.
--I complimented him how beautiful and productive.
--"God sure has given you a great garden and harvest to enjoy and share - and a credit to the neighborhood: --This man replied, "But you should have seen it when God had it all by Himself!"
Our host meant it in jest, but it bore much truth.
--It illustrates my point that God needs you and me.
--Just as we need each other, the Lord needs us.
--To be His earthly hands, feet, lips, and love.
How many have tried to quibble and shirk from God.
--They hear His message in a sermon or song. Know it.
--Been blessed abundantly with so many gifts, talents.
--Wonderful background, family, and training.
--But hesitate and postpone God's clear invitation.
--Have cold feet to venture out, for God to use us.
--Does God have to work some miracle as for Moses?
--If God is calling, and you know it, follow Him!
--Failure is not final! God can use people who fail.
--The Bible is full of them. They learned from it!
--They kept trying, trusting and obeying, to success.
--God doesn't give up on us! Don't give up on Him!
In our homes, neighborhoods, work, and churches we can find all kinds of tasks to do for the Lord.
--Let's not say, "I don't have the talent or ability."
--Let God use what you have! God gave it to you!
--He knows what we can do.
--Maybe, if we don't do it, it won't get done.
--If we can't do it perfectly, do the best you can!
So dear friend, "What is in your hand?"
--Your gifts. Your abilities and talents and interest.
--We all have some. Use them for God to win others.
In Moses' hand was a sinple rod .. staff .. a stick.
--Moses had it for years, tending his flocks.
--It shows that God can use most anything! Anyone!
That is why I surrendered to the will of the Lord.
--Abraham Lincoln, like others, had frequent failures.
--From birth in a Kentucky log cabin, he had little.
--He was defeated often in elections to office.
--Yet Lincoln kept trying harder, for a great God.
--He had a great cause - to free the slaves.
--Slavery was a blight on America - and like Moses for the Israelites enslaved in Egypt, Lincoln set free.
>Let God use you - no matter your age. What you have.
--David as a teen took five stones to slay a giant enemy.
--With Samson, it was the jawbone of a donkey.
--With a lad, it was a little lunch, he gave to Jesus.
--Jesus blessed it, and miraculously fed 5000 with it!
--With Rembrandt it was a brush, to paint masterpieces.
--With Bach and Beethoven, like Mozart, it was hands.
--Hands to pen, and play, magnificent music to bless.
--For Moses, it was a simple stick, a shepherd's staff.
Like a surgeon's glove, a wooden stick is powerless.
--Neither the glove or stick work.. without a hand.
--But with God, wooden sticks can make mighty licks!
--The power is not in the glove, or stick, but in God!
Most of us would have written Moses off, as unfit.
--After all, Moses was 80 years old, an unlikely age.
--Been a desert shepherd 40 years, an unlikely person.
--With his past failures, with unlikely preparation.
--Seemingly with unlikely possibilities, yet God chose.
--He uses the humble. Teachable. Useable. Dependable.
--My friend, likely or unlikely, God can use you!
God can even use weak things. I Corinthians 1:27 says.
--"God has chosen the weak things of the world, to con- found the mighty." If we depend on the Lord.
--We are all, in the flesh, weak. Often weak as water.
--Maybe, at times, you feel weak. God can use you.
--It is "Christ in you the hope of glory" to empower.
God told Moses, "I know what you can do. I made you.
--He said, "Go, and I will be with you" (Ex. 4:12). God can use all ages. He used a servant girl, a teen.
--She told a Syrian General with leprosy of a prophet.
--An Israeli girl, Syrians took captive, said, "If only my master were with the prophet in Samaria, he would heal him of his leprosy" (II Kings 5:3).
--This teen-age girl gave a good witness for the Lord.
--You see, God used her. Uses many fine youth!
--Two kinds of folk displease God: They who try to do everything without God, and they who think they can do nothing with Him. Think about that, my friend.
When our son graduated I was honored to give the sermon, for the bacculaureate, to the class, parents, others.
--As a closing illustration I told of our family visiting New York City's sights - and Statue of Liberty.
--All of us took the elevator. Only goes half way.
--Long, hard, winding steps take you to the very top!
--I took them. Even for a young man, they were hard.
--But the view from the top, of the skyline, river, and for miles around - was worth the labor and effort!
--A good education, like the elevator, takes us so far.
--But the rest, I said, is on your own. Take the steps!
--Keep climbing, faithfully, to the top of God's will!
God used Fanny Crosby's blindness to give great hymns.
--No handicap for her! She used it to glorify God.
--Come now, let God use you!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD, DD. 769