Serpent of Independence

For an eternal instant Moses’ staff continued to writhe and hiss in his grasp until God miraculously transformed the reptilian rod back into hardwood. But I ask you, do you think Moses ever leaned on his rod the same way again? I don’t think so. In fact, the Bible refers not to Moses’ staff, but “the staff of God” (Ex. 4:20).

On the one hand, Moses depended on the rod as a tool of the Lord. On the other hand, it was probably never too far from Moses’ mind that the rod could very easily turn into a serpent that would certainly bite him given half a chance. When leaning upon the rod meant reliance upon the Lord, I’m sure Moses leaned hard. When leaning on the rod meant depending upon his own resources, I imagine Moses kept a light grip on the tail of his staff. After all, no one likes to get bitten.

“Throw it down Moses. See it for what it is: a substitute for dependence upon Me,” the Lord must have said to him. “Now, pick it up Moses, but be careful; it will bite. You must depend on Me, not your resources. I want to be your Source and Sufficiency.”

This is the message Moses received via his wriggling rod. But, see what you think (ref. Ex. 3, 4, and 7).

The same message Moses received applies to you and me as well.

It is so tempting to cling to our sufficiency and competency, depending upon our own resources instead of the Lord. Independence is not a virtue, although it is frequently elevated to noble status.

In the spiritual realm, independence is sin and dependence upon Christ is godly. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “The thing is to rely only on God.”