6 And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
God had tested Moses’s faith by asking him to grab the tail of a poisonous viper, and then miraculously turned it back into a rod. Next, the Lord caused Moses’s hand to turn leprous and then made it whole again. In the first test God had caused Moses to face a danger outside of his body, but in this second test it was a danger inside of his body. The message to Moses—and to all of us—is clear: God has complete control over life, both to destroy it and to save it. Moses had been hesitant to go to the Israelites because he was afraid they wouldn’t believe his message, and God was making a point to Moses of how his fear was misplaced. Moses needed to fear God, not man, and Moses also needed to trust God, not man. God was wrenching Moses off of his dependence on the mortal world, calling him to surrender to the Almighty.
Many of us proclaim that God is all-powerful, but we don’t often live like that is true. We have our faith, but we also have our uncertainty. People that believed in God’s presence and omnipotence all the way to their core would live a life that is totally fearless and focused. All hesitation and all distraction would fall away because they would know that none of that other stuff really matters.
It is also worth noting that these two miracles show a certain sequence. Each began with something that was whole and right, a shepherd’s staff and a healthy hand, then the whole and right thing was corrupted, becoming a snake and turning leprous, and finally the corruption was overcome and returned to its original, whole state. These are allegories for Moses’s pure attempt to help the Israelites, his failure and departure to Midian, and this new call from the Lord to try again. These are also allegories for the Israelite people living freely and abundantly under Joseph, then being enslaved and oppressed by the Egyptians, and their eventual deliverance to freedom. And these are also allegories for mankind existing pure and perfect in the garden of Eden, then falling from grace and entering a fallen world, and then being redeemed by the atonement of Jesus Christ. These isolated miracles were types and shadows of the man, the nation, and the world!