7The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8“So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. 9“Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10“Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:7-10; NASB)
In these passages, we see God’s will for Moses: deliverance of God’s people from captivity. As God speaks to us more often then not the topic of the conversation is service to others. This is the purpose of promotion from above. God uses people as a source of blessing to others. While the vocational worldview emphasizes the corner office, hefty salaries, and other perks; God focus is on transforming peoples’ lives so that He can enjoy fellowship with them.
Where You Are Does Not Hinder Where You Are Going
And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. (Exodus 4:2; KJV).
If God is omniscient, why would He ask this question? God knew perfectly well what was in Moses’ hand. He was setting Moses up for a demonstration of His miraculous power through the tool of the shepherding trade: the rod. The rod tangibly symbolized Moses’ authority as a shepherd. Rods were used to protect the flock from animals that would inflict harm. Shepherd boys would often hold contests to determine who could throw their rods most accurately over the greatest distance.
The shepherd’s duties required keeping the sheep moving toward suitable grazing fields. It was therefore necessary to carry a minimum of equipment. The rod was the most important “tool” in the shepherd’s toolbox. The rod was often used to inspect individual sheep in order to part the wool and check for bugs or injuries. The rod was also used to keep track of the herd: the shepherd would count sheep that passed under his rod.
Apprentice shepherds would carefully choose the tree limbs that they would ultimately use as their rod. Once chosen, they would carve these limbs into an instrument that would precisely fit their hands and match their stride. Such meticulous attention to detail took into account the fact that this rod was often the shepherd’s only defense against predators, rustlers, and trespassers.
God brought Moses’ attention to his rod. In effect, he was saying, “I understand you and your situation. Where you are will not hinder where you are going for I AM going with you. As you use the rod to protect the sheep, so you will receive my protection. As you use the rod to minister to the sheep and keep track of them so I will minister to your needs and keep my eye on you.” God was about to give Moses an object lesson that would serve to demonstrate an incredible vocational change with new God-infused abilities, provisions, and responsibilities.
The Lord was also giving Moses a foretaste of his new vocation. Instead of sheep, Moses would shepherd a nation. His divinely turbocharged rod would protect, correct, and keep track of people – lots of them! The skills that he learned in backwater Midian would be magnified by God to liberate a people while changing the destiny of the whole world.
What has God been saying to you about your job? What is teaching you through your present job? What lessons have you learned from past employment?
What is that in thine hand?
Tags: Add new tag, Career, Exodus 3:7-10, Exodus 4:2