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  • Writer's pictureEli Schnell

Grab the Snake by the Tail

In Exodus 3, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush that was not consumed, sending him to Egypt to deliver the sons of Israel. Having fled Egypt, Moses was not keen on returning and began trying to weasel his way out of the mission. He presented every potential problem, from not knowing God’s name to being an untalented spokesman. In Exodus 4:1-5, Moses asked for proof in case the Israelites did not believe he had truly met God. In His wisdom, God provided miraculous evidence for Israel that also challenged Moses’ faith.

God told Moses to throw his staff on the ground, which miraculously became a serpent from which Moses fled. Snakes can be deadly, and Moses was smart to distance himself from the danger. To complete the sign, however, the snake would be turned into a staff once again. This is where Moses’ faith would be challenged. God told him to grasp the snake by the tail – not the head. Anyone with a little understanding of snakes recognizes that grabbing one by the tail can have disastrous results for the handler. At this moment, speaking to God before the burning bush, Moses’ faith was being tested. Does he trust God enough to do what many would consider foolish simply because God commanded it? Based on the way Exodus 4:4-5 is written, Moses grabbed the snake by the tail even before God finished speaking.

What do you do when you are faced with a difficult, scary circumstance but have a clear command from God telling you what you must do? Moses sets the example: grab the snake by the tail. Though you are afraid of what may happen, have faith in God and do His will. Grab the snake by the tail.

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