by Dr. Paul Chappell
Exodus 4:1-5, "And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me,
nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto
thee. 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: That they may believe
that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and
the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee."
God doesn't measure our usability by our talents but by our willingness to
Have you ever heard the name of Bertoldo di Giovanni? If you are a fan of
art, you might be surprised to not recognize him. Giovanni was the pupil of
Donatello, arguably the most gifted sculptor of his time. Giovanni possessed
unimaginable talent and skill, yet he is not remembered for any sculptings,
paintings, or art pieces. He is remembered as the teacher of Michaelangelo.
At age 14, Michaelangelo approached Giovanni and requested his help in
training his artistic abilities. Realizing Michaelangelo was gifted beyond
his age, Giovanni agreed.
Giovanni was different than many teachers of his day in that he didn't allow
talented students to simply coast through classes. He was known as a strict
instructor who pushed his students no matter their ability level. One day as
he entered class, he noticed Michaelangelo working on a sculpture that was
below his abilities. Giovanni marched over to Michaelangelo's station,
grabbed the piece of pottery, and smashed it into a thousand pieces. He then
made a statement that Michaelangelo never forgot: "Michaelangelo, talent is
cheap; dedication is costly!"
Our world seems to value talent. Kids are scouted at young ages for sporting
talent, people are elevated for their talent in different arenas, and those
with the most talent seem to climb the corporate ladder the fastest. Talent
has become something that parents hope to see in their children. But just as
Giovanni stated, talent is cheap but dedication is costly.
In Christianity, talent is sometimes too highly regarded. People are praised
for their fine singing voice, musical talent, ability to teach, or witnessing
finesse. Yet God doesn't desire to simply use talented people; He wants to
use every one of His children.
Our verses show us another one of Moses' apprehensions and excuses for not
being able to face Pharaoh. "They will not believe me, nor hearken unto my
voice" (vs. 1). God then asked Moses what he held in his hand. In essence,
God wanted to prove to Moses that it wasn't his ability, talents, or finesse
that God was interested in, but his willingness to be used.
God didn't ask Moses to acquire some object so that God could use it; God
used what Moses already possessed-his rod. Likewise, God doesn't require that
we become skilled or talented in some area so that He may use us. He wants to
use what we already have-what He has already given us.
Have you ever seen the talent of others and felt God couldn't use you? God
doesn't measure our usability by our talents but by our willingness to be
used. Do you want to be used by God? Then don't worry about mastering a skill
or becoming better at something; simply submit to God's plan and allow Him to
use you how He wants to.
What is in your hand today? How can God use you? Don't compare yourself with
other people, but allow God to use you according to His perfect plan.