Moses reflects on God’s use of his hands.
Look at these hands, worn and wrinkled. These are an old man’s hands.
I can barely see the swirls covering my fingertips anymore. Of course, that may be the result of my failing eyesight. Although I’d like to believe I may have worn my hands right down from all the work I have done over the course of my long life.
To think, I thought I was old the day years ago when the Lord spoke to me from the burning bush. I had just finally settled into my life as a shepherd; tending to sheep all day and taking after my family at night.
Eighty years old then and I was thinking of handing over most of my main responsibilities. But the Lord had different plans. The Lord must have been smiling at my thoughts of retirement in the days before He appeared to me in that bush.
After our conversation, I took my staff in my hand, as I had been commanded and turned from the fire. The bush may not have had a lasting effect from the encounter, but my life was changed forever.
Until that moment I still dealt with the guilt of abandoning my people. From a young age, I was raised by the Egyptians; I was out of touch with the difficulties my people faced. Then I killed a man. I thought I was being helpful. I thought my people may see I was stepping in on their behalf. News spread quickly and instead of seeing my action as an act of care, they hated and feared me.
So I ran. I deserted them once more.
Leaving that life behind me I could live a full life and forget, or kind of forget, all that had happened back in Egypt. The feelings and memories still crept into my mind day after day, but I never had to deal with them because I was never turning back.
The Lord must have thought my plans amusing.
So I took my staff in my calloused hands and followed the course which had been laid out before me.
To everyone’s surprise, probably mine most of all, Pharaoh freed God’s people and we headed into the wilderness.
At the age of eighty, I had the opportunity to shepherd an even greater flock.
They were also a lot more difficult to handle.
Some days were great.
Many days were not.
Like the day I came down from the mountain after receiving the law of our Lord. You cannot even imagine how breathtaking it was to be in the very presence of the Creator. He spoke to me. He laid out His plans. He was not just a voice in my head or a pillar of cloud.
My God was literally there with me and speaking directly to me.
I came down from the mountain with a renewed sense of purpose. I came down with a spring in my step, which is a lot to be said for a man my age.
Then, I witnessed my people worshipping a false god. We had literally just left Egypt. The Lord had literally displayed His great power. Yet, there they were, prostituting themselves to another.
In a rage, I took my hands, which suddenly felt old and worn again, and threw the law down. It was an action I immediately regretted. I regretted it more when I had to travel back up the mountain and write out the law all on my own the next time.
I will say, after writing them, it was a lot more difficult to forget them.
It has been a back and forth battle I have waged with my hands.
One moment I am able to raise them above my head while our people fight and it causes us to win. I raised my staff and split the Red Sea.
With those same hands, I strike a rock to produce water. It seems like no big deal, but in doing so I had not followed the command of the Lord.
Now, upon another mountain, I sit and I watch as Joshua and Caleb lead our people into the promised land. I pray my leadership has set our people up for success in the promised land.
I hope these weary hands did more work to advance the cause of our Lord than to hurt it. I’m no hero. I’m a very flawed man.
Yet, the Lord chose me. It’s funny when you think about it. The Lord chose the hands of a coward and murderer to do His work.
It was with those same hands that I took the hands of the Israelites as we walked slowly…so slowly, toward the promised land. Then I handed them off to younger men who are capable and ready to lead these people to become the established people the Lord promised we would become.
I’m tired now. I have a feeling I will be laying down just this last time; and as I lay on my back, hands outstretched, I am grateful to a God who could use these flawed, dirty, and fragile hands of mine, to do work far greater than just herding sheep.
Visit Brandon at WeldyWritings.com