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Exodus 4 English Standard Version (ESV)

Moses Given Powerful Signs

Then Moses answered, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice, for they will say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’” The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” And he said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses ran from it. But the Lord said to Moses, “Put out your hand and catch it by the tail”—so he put out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—“that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.”Again, the Lord said to him, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” And he put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. Then God said, “Put your hand back inside your cloak.” So he put his hand back inside his cloak, and when he took it out, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. “If they will not believe you,” God said, “or listen to the first sign, they may believe the latter sign. If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.”

10 But Moses said to the Lord, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” 13 But he said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” 14 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, “Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. 15 You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. 16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.17 And take in your hand this staff, with which you shall do the signs.”



  • If time permits, it’s best to read through the whole chapter once. Then re-read the selected portion above.
  • Moses had a lot of concerns and worries that caused him to be fearful at the thought of God’s task. Several times, he tried to wriggle out of God’s will.  He told God that he was afraid that the Israelites wouldn’t listen to him; he claimed he didn’t speak well.  Finally Moses decided to just tell the truth – he simply didn’t want to do it.  But God graciously resolved every one of his fears and promised to be with him (Immanuel), and to give miracles and wonders when necessary.
  • We are often afraid of making mistakes and become fearful and uneasy at those things God is calling us to do. But Scripture demonstrates to us that it is not, in fact, us who are trying to do things alone, but rather it is God at work in and through us.  All we need is to follow His guidance and to depend on the courage and faith from Him.
  • Is there anything God wants you to do that you are hesitating and resisting?



Read the passage one more time. Put yourself in Moses’ place, feel his hesitation, identify his lack of confidence.  Acknowledge to God your weaknesses also your self-confidence.  Tell God of this tug-of-war inside.  Wait for God’s response.