I recently had a realization about a staff and Moses, that has left me looking at what I have and what I have been given, in a different way.
What gifts has He given you? Are there things you hold dear? Your family? Children? favorite shoes? Perhaps there are some things have been entrusted to you…
In our girls group, we are reading What Women Fear, by Angie Smith (an amazing read, I might add, if you have not heard of it!). During the chapter on the fear of failure, Angie covers the story of Moses when he strikes the rock and water comes out (second time).
Numbers 20:10-12 (New International Version (NIV) bold mine)
10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”
My sentiment in reading this story was that God was angry with Moses for responding in anger, so His punishment was to prohibit the very thing Moses had worked for. I felt the punishment so severe and just did not understand the meaning behind God’s sudden and harsh penalty. Moses had obeyed. The people were griping. Who could blame him?
But I suddenly understood there was more…I only hope I am able to articulate it well enough to represent what the Lord revealed through the Word.
God had entrusted Moses with a staff-a staff that would bring miracles right in front of the Egyptians. A staff that would be rest for his weary body to lean on. A staff that represented the power and glory of the Lord.
What I understood after reading this chapter was this:
“Moses did not create the staff, nor give it any power. He merely held it, waiting for further instruction.” (What Women Fear)
It wasn’t that Moses used the staff to provide water, or that he was angry and acted in anger as I had thought. It was that he used the staff in his own power for his own glory. “Must we bring you water” is what the Word says…and after that verse “you did not trust in me enough to honor me as Holy.” The glory had not gone to the Lord has He had intended. Moses was the steward of something intended for His glory, and in a moment of heat, used it for his own glory.
The Lord was not upset at the miracle, but of the miss-use of what he had entrusted to Moses to use or be a steward of. So, simmering in my heart now are these questions:
HE has entrusted me with children for His glory. How am I treating my stewardship of this gift?
HE has entrusted me with knowledge and gifts and talents: how am I using these for His glory?
HE has entrusted me with a house, car, friends, family…and on and on…am I using the “staff” given to me for my own gain and glory? Or am I pointing others to Him, giving Him glory?
I didn’t make them or craft what He has given me. I merely hold my staff, the things He has entrusted to me, waiting for instruction.
How are you using the “staff” He has given you?