It was only a rod, a common, simple shepherd’s stick that Moses had picked up somewhere on the desert; a rod like any other rod. There was nothing uncommon about it; there was nothing especially noteworthy concerning it: it looked like a thousand other rods that any of many shepherds might have carried. “What is that in thine hand?” Moses could only reply, “A rod.”
In all sincerity he could not have said it was a scepter, for no authority had been invested in it by virtue of his carrying this shepherd’s stick. It was not a scepter, but only a rod.
Then, too, he could not say it was a wand—no magic powers were there in this thing that Moses carried in his hand. It was only a shepherd’s rod. Not a scepter; not a wand; just a rod, a simple stick.
But, oh, when yielded to God and consecrated to Him for service, that shepherd’s staff had all the power of omnipotence on it!
“Cast it on the ground, Moses.” “A serpent!” A writhing, wriggling, wretched snake! But it was only a rod!
“Put forth your hand and take it by the tail.” A rod again! What wonders are wrought with just a simple stick that is consecrated to a Holy God for His service!
Rahab had only a cord, a scarlet cord, but that cord, consecrated to God, became an instrument of deliverance. By faith Rahab let the spies down through her window to safety. By faith did she bind the cord in her window the very day God’s people marched around the city of Jericho seven times and the walls of the city fell to the ground and every household in Jericho was destroyed save the household of Rahab. What was that in Rahab’s hand? Only a cord! “By faith the harlot perished not with them that believed not when she had received the spies with peace.” (Hebs. 11:31)
Gideon, what is that in the hands of that motley band of 300 soldiers you’re sending out against the mighty hosts of Midianites? You say “a trumpet in each one’s hand? And, empty pitchers and lamps within the pitchers?” “Hardly what you’d expect to see in the hands of soldiers going forth to war, Gideon!”
What? No shields? No swords? No spears? Just trumpets? Empty pitchers? Lamps?
Yes, hardly conventional weapons of warfare even in Gideon’s day, but what he had in his hands was totally consecrated to the living God and thus those simple instruments were used by divine omnipotence and with them they were able to put to chase the Midianites who were like grasshoppers because of their great number, not to mention the thousand camels with which the Midianites would lead the charge!
And then there was Samson. Ah, Samson, what have you there in your hand? A new jawbone of an ass? And what do you propose to do with it? Chase away coyotes or scrape out a desert hollow wherein you may find some rest? Just what can a man do with the jawbone of an ass? You’re going to war with it? Ah, Samson, you’ve been working too hard lately! You are desperately in need of rest and possibly some competent counseling!
But wait! That very worthless piece of bone, held in the hands of a man of faith, consecrated to the living God, became an instrument of divine omnipotence, and with-it Samson slew a thousand Philistines!
I see on another occasion years later a small boy with something in his hands. “What is that in your hands, son? Just five loaves and a couple of fish?” Yes, but the Lord had need of them. Multitudes had heard His teaching all day long and he would not send them home hungry. “That’s right, son, just give them to the Lord.” And on that day, that which a school boy carried in his small hands, given to God, was used to feed 5,000 men and their families!
I see six empty waterpots now. Only earthen vessels but empty at a wedding feast where there was nothing left with which to serve the guests. Yet, six empty waterpots, brought to the Master became the very source of satisfaction to all at the feast!
What’s that in your hand? What small, mundane, miniscule thing do you have that you could let God use in some mighty way? It does not really matter what it is: God can put omnipotent power into that consecrated thing and do through your dedication of it to Him what it never could have been used for otherwise!
So, back to Moses. “Moses, what’s that in your hand? Only a rod, a stick, a staff? Smite the waters of the Nile and watch them turn to blood; stretch forth the rod over the streams and rivers and watch frogs come forth up over the land. Stretch forth the rod again and smite the dust of the land so that every thing will be covered with lice. Stretch forth that shepherd staff and hail will fall from heaven upon every man and beast of Egypt. Again, stretch it forth and, behold, the Lord God will bring an east wind with locusts which will cover the face of the whole earth. Again, stretch forth the rod and darkness will cover the land of Egypt! Finally, Moses, take that rod that is in your hand and stretch it out before the Red Sea and stand back and see the salvation of the Lord as He parts the waters of the sea and makes the waters into walls and dries up the bed of the sea so that the Israelites can walk across the sea—all two million of them—on dry land! Watch, too, as you stretch the rod back out over the sea and look at the waters as they are brought back together making the bed of the sea a watery grave for Pharoah and his hosts!”
What’s that in your hand? A rod? A jawbone? A trumpet, lamp or pitcher? A few loaves and couple of fish? Some empty waterpots? Just a cord? Two small mites? Whatever you have consecrate it to God and let Him use it for His glory in a way that you could never have imagined. LITTLE IS MUCH WHEN GOD IS IN IT!
“Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” (2 Cor. 8:11,12)