The Tail of the Snake

Exodus 4: 2 – 4

And the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he [Moses] said, “A staff.” Then He said, “Throw it on the ground” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail” – so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand.

I wonder how much time elapsed between when Moses fled and when he picked up the serpent by its tail. I think most of us would have fled when the staff turned into a serpent. What distinguishes Moses from many of us is that he did grab the serpent’s tail. 

Has God ever told you to do something that made absolutely no sense? What was your reaction? I know what I would have done if I was in Moses’ position. I would have said to myself, “That cannot be God telling me to grab the snake. Surely God wouldn’t tell me to grab a snake by the tail.” I would have talked myself out of it. There is an important life lesson in here. God is trying to lead us into the promised land but too many of us don’t obey His commands. When God told me to close my law practice and go into full time ministry I reasoned and thought until I talked myself out of following God. I convinced myself that I was not hearing God’s voice. It took a major event before I conceded that I was being led to leave the practice of law. I reasoned myself out of obedience. Looking back I can see that God had been nudging me for quite a while and I just couldn’t or wouldn’t hear Him. We will never get where we want to go if we do not follow God’s instructions. The road to the promised land is always paved with obedience.

When I think about some of the ridiculous things that God told people in the Bible stories to do it makes me laugh. The thing that makes them great stories, though, is that the people obeyed God and followed those outlandish directions. How many would-be Bible heroes do you think missed inclusion in the greatest book of all time because they reasoned away the instructions of God? Well, just be grateful that I wasn’t the one who was told to grab the snake’s tail. The nation of Israel would still be in Egypt. However, you could be the next great spiritual hero. Just do what God says. Don’t question His logic. Don’t reason. Just be a child and trust your Dad.