Exodus 4:1-3 says “Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you.’” The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it.“
Moses ran from it.
Think about that. I have often wondered why Moses thought so little of the Hebrews that he assumed they would reject him out of hand. But I think I understand now.
Moses ran from it.
That’s the key. God was telling Moses that he was God’s man. Moses was being asked to trust in God’s leading, and it made no sense to him. He struggled to trust. There he stands in the wilderness next to a bush burning with a supernatural fire that did not consume. The disembodied voice of God that accompanied the sign of the miraculous fire gave promises to Moses and told him “they will listen to your voice” which means “they will believe you.” God promised that Moses would lead the Hebrews out of Egypt after the plagues, and they would even be given valuables on their way out. And Moses stood there hearing God speak to him directly, promising all these things. And Moses’ response was “what if they don’t believe me?” God responded by miraculously turning Moses’ stick into a snake.
And Moses ran from it. In other words, God made a snake, and Moses did not believe that God could protect him from the snake. And here’s the key:
Moses didn’t think the people would believe that God had sent him because HE didn’t believe that God was sending him. But then God told him to pick up the snake, and he did. So Moses had faith, but his faith needed to grow.
We all can echo the words of the father of a demon-possessed son in Mark 9, “I believe; help my unbelief.” Lord, help our faith in You to grow each day!