Sunday, February 24, 2013

What is that in your hand?

in your hand

Reading Exodus 4:1-17

The children of Israel had been in the land of Egypt for 430 years. The Lord God Himself summarized their life in Egypt in Exodus 3: 7-10. The time had come for the Israelites to come out and be free. God then calls Moses to be involved in the work of liberating Israel from the land of Egypt.

Moses is like every one of us. We want to serve God in a very big and remarkable way but we do not, as we assume, have the right tools. “I wish I am better trained!”, “I wish I could speak like Billy Graham and have all the opportunities that he has!” “I wish this  ... and I wish that” You know all the things you had wished you had. The problem with all these wishes is that it makes us neglect the one we have.

staff, sling, pitcherMoses had a rod in his hand; the shepherd rod he has used when he kept the sheep of his father-in-law Jethro. To Moses, that rod was only useful in guiding and guarding the sheep. It has no other use; but not with God. God tells Moses in 4:17 “And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do the signs”

Let us look at a few other examples. 

Israel was being oppressed by the Philistines, and the Giant of the Philistines was Goliath. All Israeli soldiers wished they had every armour to fight him but small diminutive David had the sling shot – a catapult. Read all about it in First Samuel 17:40-50.

Still further, the Israelites were being oppressed by the Midianites and the Israelites were looking for a way to be freed. They wished they had all things necessary to dislodge the Midianites. Listen to Gideon as he complains to God and God’s answer to his complaint in Judges 6:13-16: “Gideon said to Him, “O my lord, if the LORD is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about, saying, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the LORD has forsaken us and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Then the LORD turned to him and said,” Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”  So he said to Him, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” All Gideon had in his hand was a pitcher (an earthen pot) with it he defeated the Midianites. Read all about it in Judges 7:15-21. 

In Acts 9:36-43: “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydia was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up.  Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.” In the passage we read of a woman called Dorcas. She died but the people around her wished she was alive because she had influenced their lives positively for Christ. How did she do it? In verse 39, we are told she made clothes with her needle. All Dorcas had in her hand was a needle.

alabaster jarAnd we cannot forget the story of Mary of Bethany in the home of Simon the leper. Mary herself was a harlot and was possessed by many demons. Jesus healed her. How can I serve this Lord to show my appreciation? All Mary had in her hand was a pot of alabaster oil. Read all about it in Mark 14:3-9. “And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted a? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denari and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.  For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.  Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”  The Lord Himself said what she did shall never be forgotten.

We do not have time to talk about the widow with her two mites. What of the unnamed little boy with five loaves of bread and two small fish in John 6:9? With that little, Jesus fed 5, 000 men.

God has work for every one of us to do. And every one of us has something in his/her hand with which we can do the work He has assigned to us. It only depends on whether or not we are ready to use what we have in our hand. We need to stop reaching out for what is in our neighbour’s hand.

Perhaps you have just a rake or a broom in your hand to clean this compound. Perhaps, it is a pen or even a little typewriter. Perhaps a few Naira to help in the Samaritan purse or to print more tracts for evangelism. What is that in your hand? Make it available for God’s use today and you will be surprised what God can do with it.

God bless you all.

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