And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: (Exo 4:2-4)
On May 15, 2017, I made a sincere but mistaken statement about the first verse above not being in the Bible. I had made several attempts to find: “What is in thy/thine hand” and nothing would come up. My computer Bible program is fussy and unforgiving. Someone sent me the verse and the article and this is a corrected version of the article. (Thanks to J.F. for his research.) “What is that in thine hand?” is certainly in the Bible and Exodus 4:2-4 must be the verses Dr. Bill Rice used for his text, 60 years ago.
Dr. Bill and Kathy Rice had a deaf daughter. Because of that, they built a Bible camp in Murfreesboro, TN: The Bill Rice Ranch to reach deaf young people with the Gospel. Dr. Rice preached in chapel at Tennessee Temple College, “What is In Your Hand?” It had a great influence on my life. For years, the question has run through my mind: “What is In Your Hand?” Several Bible stories illustrate the fact that God puts things into our hands to be used for Him.
And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. (1Sa 17:49) (Read: 44-50)
Children still love this story today and several children’s songs continue to be written about it. David could not use King Saul’s armor or his sword. But he was a soldier to be reckoned with when he used what God had put into his hands: the sling and stones on the ground.
This is another verse that should foremost in our thinking: For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? (1Co 4:7)
The idea of this article is that God puts things into our hands and employs what is in our hands for His glory and purpose. God does not equip rabbits to fly and does not enable birds to run faster than a cat. So, what has God put into our hands? We may not see it at the beginning but as we look back, we see that God was there from the very beginning.
If we cannot discern the will of God, we should begin by looking at what is in our hands. God is not going to use a one-arm man to be a violinist. He does not use a tenor to sing bass. He is not going to use me as an artist to paint beautiful pictures or to run a big corporation or to be the President of the United States. But, there were some things God put into my hands. As a farm boy, I understood that one can only use a tool that is in one’s hands. So, what is in your hands? What is in your heart? What drives you? In this article, I will not go into the importance of prayer and surrender to what God shows you, although that is uppermost for Christians.
The auto-biography of D.L. Moody (1837-1899) notes that he knew his strengths and his weaknesses and had due regard for both. Also, he emphasized using his strengths and spent less time trying to use his lesser talents. Good advice. Whatever we do, we ought to learn to do it with all the ability God gives us. I’m not your man for making a coconut cake.
Young David did not begin his use of the sling on the day he put down Goliath. God positioned David in the care of his father’s sheep so that he developed the use of the sling into a fine-tuned skill. David simply did not miss. Obviously, God had His eye on David in the womb of his mother and began shaping him long before he knew he was being shaped.
God endows babies with qualities not of their own making and watches over them to bring His plan to pass. Do we think Bill Gates figured out his computer ideas on his own? I don’t think so. In the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit gives gifts to people “as He will.” Though we are similar, we are not identical. None of David’s brothers were suitable for God’s purpose of providing a king for Israel. His sling and his poetic pen were to be his key of access to God’s appointed place. David used what was in his hand and he was good at it.
I’ve already mentioned that the armor of Saul was not a fit tool for David, although it was a fine piece of armor. And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him. (1Sa 17:38-39) What is in thy hand?
I meet left-handed people of my generation whose teachers went to great lengths to rescue them from their left-handed handicap. The aim was to standardize the abilities of the students. My teachers in my 1st and 2nd grades were smarter and left my left hand alone.
Thomas A. Edison, who gets credit for perfecting the electric light bulb and the phonograph, was designated by his teacher as “the class dunce”. Einstein of Germany was considered by his teachers to be slow and unteachable. Sometimes it seems that God’s sense of humor may be at work when He endows certain ones with hidden advantages that go unrecognized because they are substandard.
In some families, there is the smartest child and the slowest child. A parent may be worn out struggling with the slow child. One day it comes out in a burst of frustration: “Why can’t you be like your brother?” The slow one doesn’t know why he cannot be like his brother and he is hurt for life by an impatient parent who said the wrong thing and wounded the child. The problem is not the child. The problem is the parent who does not recognize that the Creator God appoints children with different things in their hands. Children have no obligation to be like each other. They have an obligation to use what God has put into their hands to the best of their ability.
When I was five years old in 1939, my daddy let me type my name on his 1935 Royal typewriter he had bought new. He used it to write letters to businesses to sell wood products from his sawmill. He took great pride in his typewriter and kept the cover over it to keep out the dust. I don’t know why he trusted a five-year-old to type on his machine with two fingers.
That typewriter sits on my desk and I use it occasionally. Mostly, it reminds me that the Lord put my hands on it when I was five years old. My hands are still free of arthritis. I’m not as good as many other writers, but that is what God has put into my hands.
My grandpa Richards finished the 3rd grade and was amazing with his hands in farming with mules. His funeral filled the church house to overflowing. His hands and his heart were a great influence on his community. My father and mother worked hard with their hands and were good at what they did. It was clear to me that whatever I did, I was not to sit on my hands. And I ask you: what is in your hands? God wants to use you and will use what He has put in your hands. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JUNE 26, 2017 – MONDAY
A.M. Job 7-9
P.M. Acts 7:44-60
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Memory Verse This Month:
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (Luke 24:44)
Song for Today:
The Unclouded Day (3:32) (CMC- Sou. Pines, NC)
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