We went for a walk at a nearby park. As always, the kids spread out in search of sticks.One of the girls found this one. For a small person, it could serve as a staff. She used her staff to steady her step while walking on slippery stones in the creek. She leaned on it as she climbed up the bank, pushing against it for stability. It was straight, strong, and just the right size.Her siblings were jealous. Yes, they were jealous of a stick.In fact, at one point, the owner of the stick was offered two real dollars and two stuffed animals in exchange for the straight, strong staff.”That must be some stick!” I exclaimed when I heard about the offer.”It is!” the girl who made the offer moaned. “I never find good sticks, and she always finds good sticks. But she won’t take the offer!””So let me get this straight,” I said. “You’re offering her two dollars and two stuffed animals for a stick.””Yes.””And what’s even more shocking is that she’s not going to take the offer?””No, she won’t!”I turned to the stick-girl. “Take the offer!” I advised. “It’s a stick! You can get an easy two dollars and just go find another stick!””No way! This is the best stick ever!”Amazed, I took to calling it the Stick of Renown for the rest of the afternoon.I was thinking about the Stick of Renown today and how a simple stick could be so highly valued.It reminded me of Moses’ staff. When he ran away from Egypt and became a shepherd, he would have found himself a stick; or, more accurately, a staff. And throughout his years of shepherding, I’m guessing he continued to look for the perfect stick, coming across another even better to replace the first, and yet another to improve on the one before, and so on.At some point, he must have found his favorite, and like my stick girl, I’ll bet a shepherd greatly values his favorite staff. It would probably be straight, strong, and just the right height to lean on, steady himself, and beat away wild animals from the flock. So by the time Moses saw the burning bush, he must have found a fantastic stick.God appeared to Moses, sending him to Pharoah, to bring God’s people out of Egypt. God told Moses what to say to the people, and Moses asked, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”The LORD said to Moses:
“What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.The LORD said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the LORD, “is so 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.” (Exodus 4:2-5)
That is some stick. It was to show the people that the God of their fathers appeared to Moses.Apart from the LORD, I’m sure it was an excellent staff.With Him … it was a Stick of Renown.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, through all generations.(Psalm 135: 13)
But you, O LORD, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.(Psalm 102:12)
Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws,we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.(Isaiah 26:8)
Our Good Shepherd knew all about the importance of a good staff, and His staff is the only true Stick of Renown.
And His name and renown are the desire of my heart.