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.” (Exodus 4:1-9 ESV)
Have you ever wondered whether something God called you to do with people will be received by them? Have you been afraid to take Him at His word that it will be used by Him for His purposes? Magnify that multiple times for Moses, who was being asked to face down the most powerful man in the world, the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Moses is certain that not even the Israelites, let alone Pharaoh, will listen to him or believe Yahweh has sent him. So Yahweh gives him three signs, the staff that turns into a snake and back again, his hand turning leprous and then healing, and the Nile water turned into blood. Interestingly, God does not say that they will believe Moses. He instructs him to use the staff “that they may believe” and the leprous healing that “they may believe” after not being satisfied with the first sign. And He suggests that they may not believe Moses with those two signs and so gives the third. That is not a guarantee.
But Yahweh has already told Moses that He will be with him. Moses might understandably be nervous, as would we be, but God is asking him to trust him and has shown him several signs, including being a flame in a bush, to demonstrate His power and presence. God is asking us to trust Him, too, and to take what should really be no risk at all, even if it does mean that we are not listened to or are treated shamefully. Some who trust Him and go lose their lives (Stephen, the first Christian martyr, Acts 7; James, the first apostle killed, Acts 12). Jesus was not spared and neither might we be, but we are doing the will of our Father, Yahweh Elohim. That is the right thing to do.
Some will hate thee, some will love thee, Some will flatter, some will slight; Turn from man, and look above thee, Trust in God and do the right.
Simple rule and safest guiding, Inward peace and inward light; Star upon our path abiding, TRUST IN GOD AND DO THE RIGHT.
Norman Macleod, 1857