Moses was a man touched by God, supernaturally called and full of revelation about who God was. He had a passion to honor God and grieved deeply over the sins of the people. Because of his humility, he was permitted to commune with the Lord and receive his guidance in ways that few other men have.

Despite this, Moses, like all men and women, still had a sinful, diseased nature, and God used a creative way to reveal it: “Furthermore the Lord said to him, ‘Now put your hand in your bosom.’ And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow’” (Exodus 4:6 NKJV).

Imagine the terror of reaching into your own chest cavity and touching leprosy! What an object lesson on the utter depravity of the flesh. Was God indulging in a little magic with Moses? No, this was a powerful lesson God wanted Moses to learn. He was saying, “When self is in control, you end up hurting people and bringing reproach on my work. When you work on my behalf in spectacular, fleshly ways, you minister death, not life.”

Moreover, he said, “I cannot use that old nature from Egypt. It cannot be transformed; it will always be leprous. There must be a new man who is immersed in the glory and power of the I AM!”

The Lord then told Moses to put his leprous hand back into his bosom. “So he put his hand in his bosom again, and drew it out… and behold, it was restored like his other flesh” (Exodus 4:7). Thank God for that second, sanctifying touch!

Moses’ stretching forth his hand is a depiction of ministry, and his leprosy represents hidden, unforsaken sin. When a man of God stands on holy ground, his inner soul is laid bare and those sins are brought to light. He is driven to the tender mercies of Christ for healing and restoration.

Once the old flesh is crucified, the hand of ministry is purified and we are once again clothed in divine flesh. We can rejoice in the cleansing power of the precious blood of Christ.