OK, I admit it. I’m a little strange and my imagination gets the better of me sometimes but humor me for a bit.
Moses receives the call to go get his people free. He balks and turns into a whiny little coward. One of the signs he was given to prove that God had sent him was that he could turn his staff into a snake. I love the detail that’s given, “Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. (Exodus 4:3 – NIV)” Then God tells him to pick it up, grab it by the tail and pick it up.
Now, some of you may be snake charmers or Steve Irwin look-alikes, but for me, that’s where I’d be questioning God. Whoa, Lord, can’t I just give a command? And, I can see God’s humor in the snake coiling up and facing Moses. Moses reaches out his hand and the menacing reptile hisses and spits at him but doesn’t bite. Moses finally works up the courage to touch the thing and it immediately straightens and turns into wood.
After this experience, and the hand turning to leprosy trick, you’d think that Moses would be set to go.
But, he’s like me.
The wonder of God, His amazing attributes, His holiness, his power and voice in my life, often remind me that I’m nothing. I am left knowing the limited resources that I possess and the stark reality of my consistent failure at life. Whatever confidence I may hold onto evaporates in His presence.
We sing in our worship of being “undone” in God’s presence. Though we criticize Moses for his responses, I would submit that they are entirely appropriate.
Ah, but what we feel inside is not the end of the story is it. Despite what he felt, Moses still had to reach for the snake. Despite his resistance, he still had to go. Beyond all hinderance and obstacles, he still stood before Pharoah, he still spoke, he still was used to set his people free.
Maybe you have some snakes in your life. I know I do.
Grab that tail. You can do it.