Francis Schaeffer: No Little People, No Little Places -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Southern Baptist Journal of Theology
Volume: SBJT 06:2 (Summer 2002)
Article: Francis Schaeffer: No Little People, No Little Places
Author: Anonymous

Francis Schaeffer: No Little People, No Little Places1

As a Christian considers the possibility of being the Christian glorified (a topic I have discussed in True Spirituality), often his reaction is, “I am so limited. Surely it does not matter much whether I am walking as a creature glorified or not.” Or, to put it another way, “It is wonderful to be a Christian, but I am such a small person, so limited in talents—or energy or psychological strength or knowledge—that what I do is not really important.”

The Bible, however, has quite a different emphasis: With God there are no little people.

Moses’ Rod

One thing that has encouraged me, as I have wrestled with such questions in my own life, is the way God used Moses’ rod, a stick of wood. Many years ago, when I was a young pastor just out of seminary, this study of the use of Moses’ rod, which I called “God so used a stick of wood,” was a crucial factor in giving me the courage to press on.

The story of Moses’ rod began when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, telling him to go challenge Egypt, the greatest power of his day. Moses reacted, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exod 3:11), and he raised several specific objections: “They will not believe me, nor harken 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’” (Exod 4:1–2). God directed Moses’ attention to the simplest thing imaginable—the staff in his own hand, a shepherd’s rod, a stick of wood somewhere between three and six feet long.

Shepherds are notorious for hanging onto their staves as long as they can, just as some of us enjoy keeping walking sticks. Moses probably had carried this same staff for years. Since he had been a shepherd in the wilderness for forty years, it is entirely possible that this wood had been dead that long. Just a stick of wood— but when Moses obeyed God’s command to toss it on the ground, it became a serpent, and Moses himself fled from it. God next ordered him to take it by the tail and, when he did so, it became a rod again. Then God told him to go and confront the power of Egypt and meet Pharaoh face to face with this rod in his hand.

Exodus 4:20 tells us the secret of all that followed: The rod of Moses had become the rod of God.

Standing in front of Pharaoh, Aaron cast down this rod and it became a serp...

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