Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Scepter of a King, part 3

We have seen that God showed Moses how to use his staff, his God-given authority, to perform signs and wonders that the children of Israel and Pharaoh would believe that God had sent him.
God also showed Moses what would happen if he didn't use the authority that God had given him, as symbolized by his rod.

In Exodus 4 : 2-3 God tells Moses to throw his rod on the ground.

"Then the LORD said to him, 'What is that in your hand?'
'A staff,' he replied.
The LORD said, 'Throw it on the ground.'
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it."
Throughout scripture a serpent represent a cursed creature, just as in Genesis the serpent was cursed. The serpent was also the symbol of royal and divine power worn on the crown of the Pharaohs. Pharaoh was the one holding the children of Israel in bondage, hence he was the enemy.
As Moses symbolically threw his God-given authority away, it became power and authority for the enemy.
The same is true for us today. Jesus has given us the authority that he won back through his death and resurrection. We are given that authority for many reasons, among them being that we perform signs and wonders that the world will believe that God has sent us (Mark 16:17-18, John 4:48, John 14:12). If we throw that authority away, we give that power to the enemy.

Likewise, when Moses took the serpent by the tail, and took back his authority, it once again became his rod, his "mattah", his scepter, his God-given authority to be used for God's purposes.

Exodus 4:4 "And the Lord said to Moses, Put forth your hand and take it by the tail. And he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Scepter of a King, part 2

As Moses continued in the authority that God had given him and he matured, God expected more of him.

In Exodus 14, the Israelites had fled captivity in Egypt and had stopped to camp along the sea. God once again hardened Pharaoh's heart, and let him decide to chase after the newly freed Israelites. As they looked up and saw the Egyptians coming after them, they saw that they were trapped by the sea. They cried out to Moses and panicked. In verse 14 Moses tells the people, "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” But God expected Moses to do his part, he expected him to use the authority that God had given him.

(Moses' part:)
15Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward."
16"As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land.

(God then explains what His part will be; the part that He had not enabled Moses to do.)
17"As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them..."

God desires that we mature in our relationship with Him. Part of that maturing is understanding what our part is, and how to use the knowledge and authority that God has given us, rather than asking Him to do everything for us.
We come to God as children, but He desires that we mature as sons and daughters.