v1: This chapter opens with Moses showing spiritual immaturity.
· They will not believe…or listen: Moses had already determined that he was going to be unsuccessful. He wrongly assumed that he was the problem. G-d doesn’t make a mistake. When G-d calls us He does the work – our job is to just be an obedient vessel.
v2: A rod is a humble instrument. Moses needed to understand that G-d could use the lowly rod. G-d can use whatever He wants to in order to accomplish His will. The outcome of this assignment is not dependant on Moses. (It’s not the vessel that’s important, it’s the mindset of that vessel – will we trust and believe in the promises of G-d?)
v3 This was not a cute little garden snake. Moses (desert hardened to snakes) fled from it! Some commentators say that Moses knew that he was acting in disobedience. Maybe he thought he was about to face G-d’s judgement.
v4 Moses was afraid of this snake (in much the same way that he was afraid of Pharoah and the people) but G-d asked him to act in faith and grab it by the tail – the most dangerous way to pick up a snake. G-d is teaching Moses to obey – even when the command doesn’t make sense in the natural (Isaiah 55:8-9)
As Moses acted in faith the snake became a rod again. G-d’s Word can be trusted!
v5 You should know this principle well by now! Mention of the Patriarchs = reminder of faith and promise. These men believed, by faith, in the promises of G-d. What Moses is being called to do is related to the covenantal promises of G-d. The only way to take hold of these promises is through faith.
v6 G-d was teaching Moses to recognise and submit to Divine authority.
· His hand was leprous: When we question G-d (hesitate, doubt etc) it is insulting to Him. People who didn’t trust G-d or were displeasing to Him (especially in the Old Testament) would often get leprosy.
v7 Here G-d is revealing to Moses that He is in control of all things. If He wants to use us we must not doubt or hesitate – just do it!
v8 Moses needed signs of confirmation from G-d – so too would the Egyptians (and the Hebrews) require signs. The purpose of signs or miracles is to confirm the truth or will of G-d.
v9 Moses couldn’t prove this sign, but now he had to receive it by faith. The proof of the first two signs laid the foundation for believing by faith.
v10 So, even after all of this, Moses is saying that G-d has got it wrong this time. Moses again puts the attention onto himself and his inadequacies.
v11 G-d was aware of Moses’ inability in the natural, yet He chose him – it was never about Moses getting the glory, but G-d (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
v12 I will be with your mouth: That’s the important thing. If G-d is with us, or for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
· And teach you: G-d was going to equip Moses for this assignment – as he submitted to G-d. Moses was not going to a vessel that didn’t understand anything and was just going to be manipulated by G-d. That is not the way that G-d works.
v13 Moses still doesn’t get it. He wanted to refuse this assignment and asked G-d to send someone else. This shows a lack of faith.
v14 -15 G-d was very upset with Moses, because he didn’t want to recognize G-d’s Authority in his life. Nevertheless, G-d didn’t let Moses off the hook.
v16 As Moses submitted to G-d Aaron was going to submit to the authority of Moses.
v17: Rod also relates to authority.
Signs are things that only G-d can do. The purpose of them is to reveal the reality of G-d in the midst of the people. G-d is the authority – and He calls every single one of us to submit to Him.