Moses – The Man of God

WHEN THE HUMAN RACE COMMENCED, Adam was created as its head: when a family was to be chosen to be God’s elect people Abraham was selected. His descendants, after years of bondage cried unto Jehovah for deliverance. This would re¬quire a leader, for the ‘family’ had now grown into a nation. As is ever God’s way, He had His man ready for the task, and for eighty years had been preparing Moses for this moment.
His Training
Under the controlling influence of God he was taken in childhood into the king’s palace, there to be instructed in all the wisdom of Egypt. That Moses took full advantage of this training is shown in Acts 7. 22 where it is stated that he was marked by that most unusual combination of being mighty in words and deeds, being, of course, inferior to the Lord Jesus Christ who was mighty in deed and word, Luke
After forty years of training in military and political leadership, he supposed that his brethren would recognize him as their appointed deliverer, no doubt feeling quite competent for the task. But another forty years were to be spent in further training before he heard God saying ‘I will send thee … that thou mayest bring forth my people’. He spends this period as a stranger in the wilderness, as great a contrast from the palace as was possible, learning now not to be a great leader, as men judge one, but a great shepherd. Some indication of his feelings is given in the naming of his son ‘Gershom’ - ‘a stranger in a strange land’.
So Moses had eighty years of training before taking up his task. What a waste of precious time, is our natural reaction; but time spent in the school of God can be no more a waste than was the pouring out of Mary’s precious ointment. How many ill-timed blows have been struck by sincere men who were not willing to await God’s command to action.
His Commission
At last the commission is given at the burning bush but Moses hesitates. So quick to action at forty years of age, now at the age of eighty he hangs back and drives the Lord to anger at his repeated excuses, Exod. 4. 14. Yet who are we to criticize Moses, for these surely are common faults with us all.
What a position he now had to take – to enter the court of the mighty Pharaoh, Satan’s tool, and issue God’s demands as His representative. The believer who can speak for God faithfully in such circumstances is the one who has learnt patience and divine power in the school of God.
Resulting from an awe-inspiring demonstration of God’s power, the Israelites, slaves no longer, were leaving Egypt as conquerors, laden with booty. Now all Moses’ training in military and civil leadership, diplomacy and shepherding was to be put into practice. Throughout the next forty years he leads the people in a manner that causes even secular historians to agree that his gift in this sphere has not been equalled.
His Obedience
He had been forcibly reminded in his own life that obedience to God was essential, Exod. 4. 24, and this characterized all his dealings with Israel, apart from the sad lapse at Meribah. Uniquely privileged by receiving the tablets of the law and the details of the tabernacle direct from God during the forty days on the mount, he appreciated that the entrance of the first tablets into the camp would result in overwhelming judgement, so he broke them. He faithfully passed on the instruc¬tions he had received for building the tabernacle - ‘as the Lord commanded Moses so did they’ – and thus God was able to dwell amongst them, manifesting something of His glory. The lesson to be learnt here is that God’s glory can only be fully revealed amongst His people where there is obedience to His Word.
As a shepherd Moses had learnt to love and discipline the sheep entrusted to him, and the depth of this love was shown when he pleaded with God to blot out his name from His book and forgive the sin of His people: on the other hand he knew that discipline was essential and after the golden calf had been made could say ‘go in and out from gate to gate and slay everyone his brother’. The honour of God was his sole object – what a lesson for us!
As mediator he stood between the nation and God and passed on to it the words of God. He alone could say ‘a prophet will the Lord your God raise up like unto me’ – One who would reveal perfectly to men the character of God.
Though holding one of the greatest and most privileged positions a man has ever been given, he ‘was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth’. How often we think ourselves so important in doing some small service!
The Principles of Success
His successful life was founded upon simple principles, he exercised faith – he obeyed God’s commands, whether positive or negative. As has been said already his object was the glory of his God, and his eye was fixed on Him who was invisible. Not only so, but he ‘was faithful in all his house’. He loved the people of God because they were His, and viewed them as upholding or dishonouring God’s name among the nations.
Because of these ideals God was able to speak to Moses face to face, and he alone had access at will into the presence of God, the Holy of Holies.
What influences had been brought to bear on him that resulted in his attaining this high standard? First of all, when he was a babe his parents had committed him completely into the hands of their God and during those early formative years of his life had so taught the principles of divine living that after some thirty years of palace luxury they were remembered, and ‘by faith Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt’.
Have we who are parents given our children to die Lord, for Him to place where He wishes? Our object, not that earthly position and riches should be theirs, but that they should be divinely enriched.
The reader who in any way has young people or children under his influence should fill their minds and hearts with the Word of God and divine principles. For it is only as this is so, that they will be able to exercise faith and choose aright when confronted by decisions affecting their relationship with the world. To learn such lessons later in life is difficult.
At the burning bush Moses became aware of the holiness of God, and His superiority over the power of Satan. This experience was deepened as time passed, both in the destruction of the firstborn on the passover night, and the destruction of Nadab and Abihu. We would do well to take these primary truths to heart: (a) that God is a holy God and holiness becomes His house; and {b) that our Saviour has ‘destroyed him that had the power of death that is die devil’. If we give Him His rightful place and learn from what He has accomplished then the difficulties we tend to magnify will be seen in their true perspective. Moses desired to sec the glory of God, to be closer acquainted with Him, and in measure this was granted to him. The result was evident to all, for his face shone with a brightness the people did not care to look upon. To us is given, through the Holy Spirit, the privilege of seeing Him who is invisible, and proportionately as this is true it will be evident to those we meet.
May we all have that spiritual wisdom that recognizes how far we should go in acquiring earthly knowledge and then place ourselves in the Lord’s hands for Him to do with us as He pleases. His directions will not always agree with the wisdom of men. He may lead us in strange paths not of our choosing.
For thirty-eight years he led the Israelites. In the desert through no fault of his own, he was content to be in the place God had put him. He had no man-made memorial, even his grave not being known to men, but he had that wonderful honour: ‘God buried him’. ‘There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face’.

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