In the last blog, I asked if Moses had a future. The LORD (Yahweh) begins to answer that question for Moses and for us with a strange burning bush. Moses wasn’t so convinced. I’m not sure we would be convinced, either.

But Yahweh still doesn’t get after him about his doubt. Instead, Yahweh gives him three very significant pictures. They are object lessons, not only for Israel, but for Moses.

How are they object lessons for us? As He did for Israel, Yahweh has a purpose for us. And the devil loves to steal, kill and destroy as he attacks our sense of who we are in Yahweh and Yahweh’s purpose for us.

Snake into a rod again

In the first one, his shepherd’s rod or staff is changed into a snake and back into a rod as he followed Yahweh’s directions. The snake represents Egypt’s belief in the divine power of her gods. The magicians of Egypt would later be able to change rods into snakes. Satan appeared to Eve in the garden of Eden as a snake; we also are inclined to believe in the divine power of our false gods. The word snake or serpent comes from a word meaning “to hiss, to whisper a magic spell.”[1] Have you ever gone to a magic show? The magician performs a trick and you wonder how it was done? Magicians accomplish their trick by redirecting your focus. Just like Satan did in the garden by asking Eve if God really said they couldn’t eat of every tree. Not exactly what God said, but Satan was close enough that Eve re-focused. Then he messed with her perception of what God meant by it. He hasn’t changed that tactic since the garden of Eden.

How did Yahweh respond to the rod-into-snake on the ground? He told Moses to reach down and pick it up by the tail! If I had to pick up a snake (you will likely never see that!) it certainly would not be by the tail so it could curl around and bite me! The restored rod represents spiritual power and authority. The tail represents the lowest place of influence. Moses, you have dominion over that snake now, even though you think you are still the least influential man on earth. In other words, Yahweh is telling him “I know you’ve been a shepherd for 40 years. But I didn’t change your calling. Your job title is now Deliverer, and you will have all the power and authority you’ll need for this job.”

Satan has no doubt tricked you, too. He certainly has whispered his magic spells in my life, causing me to focus on the something else and then causing me to question what God has said over my life. No more! I have influence now! I try to catch those tricks and refuse to turn aside to the darkness of his lies (symbolized by “left”) or what I can naturally accomplish without Yahweh (symbolized by “right”.)

13 The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. Deuteronomy 28:13-14 (NIV)

Leprous hand restored

The second object lesson where his hand became leprous, white as snow, and was restored again. Yahweh would use Moses to restore Israel, to lead His people back to their Promised Land following the plagues in Egypt. Leprosy likely really meant some contagious disease for which doctors had no cure.

It has layers of symbolic meaning, but the spiritual application is especially relevant for us. Like leprosy, our sin is contagious. It is passed from parent to child and has been since Adam and Eve’s failure in Eden introduced sin nature to the human blood line. There is no earthly cure; our only cure is the blood of Jesus shed at the cross for us. As we accept by faith the significance of that sacrifice on our behalf, we are made new even though we do not deserve it.

Yahweh would restore from the very worst that Moses could imagine. Jesus came as my Redeemer and my Healer. He has healed my body and my shattered heart (thinking and emotions). Yahweh is accelerating that healing and quickly bringing me back to my purpose just as He was doing with Moses and will do for you.

A river turns to blood

The third object lesson turned the Nile River into blood; actually, Yahweh was explaining to Moses the first plague. That river was a key to their idolatry and to their economy, but Yahweh would bring them down, as He had said in chapter 3. Yahweh renewed His original calling that Moses must have thought was gone. It would convey to the people that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had sent him. Yahweh assured him they would believe him. Yahweh would know; He had prepared their hearts to believe.

Was Yahweh also reminding Moses of the place where he was to be killed? (Exodus 1:15-16) Was Yahweh saying, “I kept you then, and I will keep you now. You feel like life has no value now; I say otherwise. You are worth the purpose I saved you for.”

However the devil has thought he did me in for good, Yahweh says otherwise.

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow! John 10:10 (PassionNTPsa)

No chastisement

Did Moses have a future? Yahweh certainly thought he did. And Yahweh was willing to provide all Moses would need for that future. Yahweh told him he would worship at that mountain again (Sinai), shared His name as Yahweh, assured him the elders would listen to him but Pharoah would not listen to him and that Israel would He would plunder Egypt (their key idols are destroyed) and then they would give Israelites what they asked for in silver, gold and clothing!

Think about all the things God/Yahweh said to Moses in chapters 3 and 4. But He didn’t give him condemnation or chastisement.

Not a single word of it.

Pause and Ponder

What would Yahweh say to you? What resources would He commit to you?

Notice what Yahweh will do for you: 6 [It is He] Who has qualified us [making us to be fit and worthy and sufficient] as ministers and dispensers of a new covenant [of salvation through Christ], not [ministers] of the letter (of legally written code) but of the Spirit; for the code [of the Law] kills, but the [Holy] Spirit makes alive. 2 Corinthians 3:6 (AMP)

Qualified. Fit. Worthy. Sufficient. Other versions use words like “competent” or “adequate.” I don’t see anything about useless or worthless of finished by failure in those words! No condemnation for you either!

Take the time to read Jeremiah’s assurance to exiles. Slowly. Thoughtfully. 11 I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (GW)

The word “plans” comes from a word meaning “thoughts, intentions, imaginations.”[2] It is rooted in a word meaning “to devise.”[3] Have you ever thought about the LORD imagining stuff about you and for you? Dreaming big things for you?

What begins to build in you as you consider Yahweh, LORD of your future, making plans for peace or wholeness for you, plans that give you a future filled with hope? Ponder the LORD of your future being intimately aware of what He imagines and purposes as He thinks of you, as He weaves and fabricates together that which will bring about your completeness and wholeness in body, soul and spirit. His plan is not to bring about good for nothing junk but to set in motion an outcome that you will live for, long for, hope for.


Carol Boggess, author and speaker at A Healing Journey

Carol Boggess © 2021

Rivers – A Journey of Restoration From Broken to Breakthrough and The LORD Sees Broken Hearts

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[1] Strong, James. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007. WORDsearch CROSS e-book. Hebrew 5175, 5172.

[2] Strong, James. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007. WORDsearch CROSS e-book. Hebrew 4284.

[3] Strong, James. Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary. Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007. WORDsearch CROSS e-book. Hebrew 2803.