Daily Thought for: 18th February

MOSES: HIS COURAGE AND CHIVALRY 

Exodus 2. 11-19; 3. 6; Deuteronomy 5. 5, 23-27; Hebrews 12. 21 

Moses’ courage. It has been rightly said that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to disregard and overcome it. Moses was certainly no stranger to fear and yet he displayed great personal courage before both God and man. 

Before God. Moses knew what it was to be afraid of God. At Sinai, Israel was confronted by thunder, lightning, thick cloud, blackness and thick darkness, smoke as a furnace, a tempest, a devouring fire, the mountain quaking and a voice as of a trumpet exceeding loud. Understandably, the people shrank back in terror at the sight of God’s glory and the sound of God’s voice. They proposed to Moses that he alone should draw near to God. Moses very much shared their fears; the man who some 40 years before on the same mountain had been ‘afraid to look upon God’, now confessed, ‘I exceedingly fear and quake’. Yet courageously he agreed to their proposal and went. 

Before man. Moses knew what it was to fear man. For example, he feared for his life when he learnt that his killing of the Egyptian was public knowledge. And yet, fortified by the presence, power and promise of God, he boldly defied Pharaoh time after time. Later, he courageously challenged Israel over their worship of the golden calf, standing alone against over 600,000 men. 

Moses’ chivalry. Moses was always ready to help the weak. He possessed a keen sense of justice and often played the part of the champion and deliverer of those who were oppressed and afflicted. He defended the Hebrew who was smitten by the Egyptian. He spoke up on behalf of the Hebrew who was being wronged by his brother. And, though these two interventions brought him trouble, he subsequently stood up and helped Jethro’s seven daughters who were being bullied by the ill-mannered shepherds of Midian. Gallantly he delivered the girls out of the hands of the shepherds and refilled the troughs which the shepherds’ flocks had emptied. Already he displayed the qualities which, in part at least, made him a fit deliverer of the abused and afflicted people of Israel. 

Lord, make me courageous, sympathetic and noble. 

 

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