The Staff of Power
“Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.” Exodus 14:16
When God appoints a person to a kingdom task, He provides them with the power to accomplish it. But what happens when we insist on passing off our purpose to someone else? Do we also pass on the power?
I only ask because God revealed something to me about our friend Moses I’d never noticed before. I wonder if you’ll see what God showed me.
When Moses asked how he would prove that it was really God who had sent him to deliver the Israelites, God responded with a question of His own.
The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” Exodus 4:2
In the moments that followed, God used that staff to reveal His miraculous power, and Moses’ staff became the staff of God (Exodus 4:20, Exodus 17:9).
Take note, dear one. God didn’t give him something new to prove His power. He anointed what Moses already possessed.God will anoint with power what you already possess. What does He ask you to offer Him? Click To Tweet
And when Moses finally submitted to return to Egypt with his brother by his side to speak for him, God gave him one final instruction.
“And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”
… So Moses took his wife and his sons and had them ride on a donkey, and went back to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the staff of God in his hand. Exodus 4:17, 20
Here’s where it gets really interesting.
When the time came to confront Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron did everything the LORD asked of them. God gave instructions to Aaron through Moses for each of the first three plagues.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood…’” Exodus 7:19
And all the water turned to blood.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’” So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. Exodus 8:5-6
Still Pharaoh would not relent.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” Exodus 8:16
But something changed when the time came to unleash the fourth plague.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses.”’” Exodus 8:20-21a
Did you catch it, dear one? God took Aaron out of the equation at the fourth plague.
The God who’d first called Moses at the burning bush challenged him to return to his original calling. He asked him to trust His power through him, without relying on someone else. As promised, God had made his mouth, and He would help Moses speak (Exodus 4:11-12).
When Moses complied, a great distinction occurred.
“But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.” And the Lord did so… Exodus 8:22-24a
Beloved, until that point, the Israelites experienced every plague God poured out through Aaron. When Moses finally trusted God completely and took his true position, blessing fell on the people of God. And they were spared from suffering with the Egyptians.
I wonder, dear one. What blessings might God’s people be missing because you and I allow doubt to keep us from trusting God fully in our purpose? What has God asked you to do that you’re relying on someone else to accomplish? What if the anointing God appointed for the task won’t manifest fully until you step by faith into the role God ordained as yours?
Don’t misunderstand. God had always intended for Aaron to go with Moses. How do I know? God had already sent Aaron on his way to meet Moses while he argued with God at the burning bush (Exodus 4:14). But it wasn’t Aaron’s job to confront Pharaoh. That was Moses’ task. God appointed Aaron to help Moses, and he would minister as a priest of God.
After that, Aaron still accompanied Moses to every meeting with Pharaoh, but Moses did the talking. And the staff of power that proved God was with them returned to Moses’ hand.
Then Moses stretched out his staff toward heaven, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:23
Moses didn’t relinquish his staff again. And he shouldn’t have. After all, it belonged to him.
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