As Moses is about to start into a new era of ministry in his life he asks the Lord, “suppose they (the Israelites and Pharaoh) will not believe me or listen to my voice (Ex 4:6).” To this the Lord shows Moses three miracles. Interestingly of the three signs in Ex 4:1-9 the sign of the leprous hand was never performed before the children of Israel or Pharaoh. Yet perhaps this was the greatest of signs for Moses. In the scriptures the hand is the symbol of one’s strength and power. (De 8:17 “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’)
Humans and especially leaders often have hidden gods of the heart. There is either a) a desire for control and authority or b) a desire to be able to say I have done this, my hand has accomplished this, or both desires are present.
In the desire to be in control of our own destiny there is a false allusion that we can be anything that we want, that we are “masters of our fate”. The thought that happiness and success is up to you. The idea that “you can be anything you set your mind to.” Yet who made us who we are? The majority of what sets the course for our lives is out of our control, i.e. the century and place that we were born in, who our physical parents are, the childhood environment, physical stature, genetically hardwired talents and most of the circumstances that we find ourselves in. We must realize that all we are and have is given to us by God. However the foolish person endeavors to get more control and authority or to maintain their authority by using their own strength of words, their educational or financial prowess to manipulate or control others. Miriam tried this and was smitten by leprosy (Numbers 12:1-10). The other side would be to use the results of our efforts as a platform for boasting and pride. King Uzziah was like this and he too was smitten by leprosy ( 2 Chron. 26:16-19).
In this sign from God two hands were changed, first the clean strong healthy one to leprosy then the leprous hand to a healthy one. How easy it is to rest in the strength of our own ability and not to see that in the eyes of the Lord, this heart attitude is as leprosy, vile and defiling. How much better to honestly see our weakness, what is weak and defiled in our eyes, when submitted to the word of the Lord is what is clean, strong and healthy. Perhaps this is why the apostle Paul constantly saw himself as the chief of sinners, one not even fit to be called an apostle.
As you are entering into the New Year take a moment to examine what areas of our life your are most proud of, realize who really gave you that success. Also examine what areas you are using your strength to make it happen to bring about results without trusting in God’s help. May we always have our weakness submitted to the Word of the Lord that it would be a strength. May we always see our strengths as coming from the Lord that it would not be leprous in nature.