Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
We probably feel that Moses had every good reason to run away from this rod that had suddenly become a serpent! But the incident was the Lord’s response to Moses’ own expressions of doubt about the work he was being given to do. A serpent it may seem to be, but it was only there so that the servant of God could feel the divine power that would enable him to deal with it.
So the word comes, ‘Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail’. No sooner had he done so than Moses found he had a rod in his hand again. This was just one of the three miraculous acts that were given to Moses so that not only he, but others would be convinced that what they were doing was of God and He was in it.
We are likely to be the generation that ‘runs away’ instead of proving the power and ability of our God to do His work through us. Be the serpent representative of Satan or Egypt, they were formidable foes in either case. But the word to Moses was ‘take it by the tail’. In other words God was saying, ‘Don’t run away but move in on it and see Me at work’. ‘Have the courage to believe I can work and others will see your faith and follow on too’.
But too often we are running away these days. We are off to our world destination holidays or keen to take up the leisure opportunities that retirement and a good pension have provided. Often we leave a weak and already struggling assembly behind and indulge ourselves in what we want to do without hardly a thought, it would seem, as to how the outreach work will be sustained in our absence. Would it surprise us to come back one day and to find the doors closed?
How important is doing the Lord’s will and mind for you? How precious is His truth and His testimony in a day when all seems to be weak and failing? Now is not the time to be running away. Now is the time to begin to prove God in reality and to trust Him to do His work. Where are those who will take the serpent by the tail and prove the power of God to nullify it into a rod? Do you belong to those who are doing or those who are letting others do it?
Neither is it a time to be doing things the Lord hasn’t told us to do or that we find more acceptable to do. It is the local work that seems to have to suffer every time we do this. We are where God put us so that we can prove Him there, not elsewhere.
The rod that day became ‘the rod of God’ to Moses, v. 17. Experience gained in the school of his God was to be the backbone of his strength in future days. So we become able to wield the ‘rod of God’ in His work as we prove Him in the daily and weekly activities of an assembly that we have not run away from. Praise Him.
We have changed the way we thought we would be celebrating our Anniversary celebration of sixty years of the magazine. Instead of the two editions with parts of them devoted to the history of things we are going to produce just one Anniversary Issue that will be in addition to the regular November magazine, DV. This ‘special’ will include extended coverage of historical contributions and contributors with supporting material to thank the Lord for His grace in affording the work the blessing and help He has over the years.
In this current magazine we are glad to be starting our second series of another nine ‘Key Note’ articles dealing with getting into the realities and enjoyment of power in assembly service and fellowship. These will, we hope, bring us back into the good of our inheritance. Andrew Wilson and Ray Gonzalez are two new writers for the magazine and we have their first contributions in this issue. We are enlarging our ‘Book Review’ section and broadening its appeal by reviewing Bible study support materials available to computer users. Our section on Assembly Support Ministries deals with the production of the well-known Assemblies Address Book as just one of the outcomes of the work of Christian Year Publications. We would value your continued prayers for the magazine and the publications ministry that is Precious Seed, that, in a growingly difficult day of service, the Lord will keep us in the centre of His will in providing a positive and balanced ministry for all believers.