But What If…

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exodus 4-6, Matthew 14:22-36


Then Moses replied, “But what if they don’t believe me or pay attention to me? They might say to me, ‘The Lord didn’t appear to you!’”

The Lord said to him, “What’s that in your hand?”

Moses replied, “A shepherd’s rod.”

The Lord said, “Throw it down on the ground.” So Moses threw it on the ground, and it turned into a snake. Moses jumped back from it.Then the Lord said to Moses, “Reach out and grab the snake by the tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a rod in his hand. “Do this so that they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors, Abraham’s God, Isaac’s God, and Jacob’s God has in fact appeared to you.”

Again, the Lord said to Moses, “Put your hand inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand inside his coat. When he took his hand out, his hand had a skin disease flaky like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your coat.” So Moses put his hand back inside his coat. When he took it back out again, the skin of his hand had returned to normal. “If they won’t believe you or pay attention to the first sign, they may believe the second sign. If they won’t believe even these two signs or pay attention to you, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on dry ground. The water that you take from the Nile will turn into blood on the dry ground” (Exodus 4:1-9, Common English Bible).

We come by it naturally. We often will make excuses rather than to something we are supposed to do, but would really rather not. We can see it in the Bible. Today’s lesson is a great example. God wants Moses to go back to Egypt, a place where Moses had murdered a man, for the purpose of freeing the Israelites. Moses is anticipating ahead of time what is going to happen. “What if they say God didn’t call you?”

God has a response for Moses. “Take your staff and throw it to the ground.” Moses does and the staff turns into a snake. Then God tells Moses, “Pick it up by the tail.” Moses just jumped when the staff became a snake. I would have run far and fast. If God told me to pick the snake up by the tail, “Nope, not me. You find someone else, God. Oh, and you can keep the staff. I will cut another one. I”m not touching a snake. I freely admit I am afraid of snakes. I am so afraid of snakes I won’t even watch one on television. I put my hand up to block my view. I know the snake on TV can’t hurt me but hey, it’s an irrational fear. For some people its heights, for others needles. For me it’s snakes.

If we continued reading on in Exodus 4 we would see that the next thing when God doesn’t relent and let Moses off the hook, Moses says, “My Lord, I’ve never been able to speak well, not yesterday, not the day before, and certainly not now since you’ve been talking to your servant. I have a slow mouth and a thick tongue.”

It is another “But what if…” In this case, God tells Moses to take along his brother to be his microphone. There would probably have been more “What ifs” except God had enough of Moses’ excuses.

If you have ever served on a nominating committee for an organization, you probably know what I am talking about. People are full of excuses. There is an old joke that goes something like this, “Everyone has excuses and excuses are like armpits. We all have them and at least some of them stink.”

One organization I know of right now is functioning without a president because no one will take the job. Everyone is too busy or too old or too weak, or too… It becomes difficult for an organization to function without leaders. It is difficult for committees to do their work without members.

What if, through that nominating committee God is calling you to serve? Don’t say to God, “But what if…”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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