So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace,
and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. And it will become fine dust
in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast
throughout all the land of Egypt.”
The Greeks believed in a legendary bird called the Phoenix. It had brilliant gold and reddish-
purple feathers and was as large as an eagle. Some claimed that the Phoenix lived for exactly 500
years and at the end that time burned itself on a funeral pyre. Out of the ashes, however, a new
Phoenix rose with renewed youth and beauty.
Like the Phoenix, God can take ashes and bring forth something marvelous and wonderful. For
Moses and Aaron He used the ashes from a furnace to remind Pharaoh that he was not as
powerful as he thought.
When the winds spread the ashes over the land of Egypt, boils broke out on all the people. Even
the court magicians were unable to stand on their feet. They quickly discovered what the God of
Israel was able to do with something as seemingly useless as ashes.
The fiery furnace of trials and afflictions also can leave our lives in ashes. When all our hopes
and plans are burned up, it may seem that nothing is left except useless residue. Yet if we give
God the ashes, He is able to bring out of them a whole new life purified and sanctified to His
Does it seem that all your dreams have gone up in smoke? Don’t discard those ashes. Give
what’s left to God and watch the divine wonder of His ability to bring beauty from ashes.
IN GOD’S HANDS, EVEN ASHES HAVE A PURPOSE.