I’ve been reading through Numbers and for this month, I would like to focus on the life of Moses. I want to specifically focus on his character and personality; how in the illumination of scripture I may learn something about myself.
There are many events which occurred during the life of Moses. His life is viewed by biblical scholars through three forty year periods:
- Moses spent the first forty year period of his life from birth to his escape to Midian. As Pharaoh’s son, his time was spent learning to be somebody.
- Moses spent the second forty year period of his life from his escape to Midian to the Exodus. Wandering in the desert, his time was spent learning to be nobody.
- Moses spent the third forty year period of his life from the Exodus until his death. As the leader of God’s chosen people Israel, his time was spent learning God is above everybody, and to be submitted to the God of all creation.
- The people complain about their hardships (11:1).
- The foreigners among them lusted for other food (11:4-15).
- Those who lust were struck with a plague (11:33-34).
“While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman. They said, ‘Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he spoken through us, too?’ But the Lord heard them. (Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.)”1
I’ve heard it said that, “We want what we cannot have”, but the truth is we often want “what we truly don’t need”.
What truly satisfies a person above friendship with God?
Very little is known about this wife of Moses, except she was a Cushite (African). Some argue that this wife and Zipporah are two different women. What is certain is that Miriam and Aaron took exception to Moses because of his Cushite wife. One can speculate that perhaps Miriam and his wife had a dispute, perhaps Miriam and Aaron felt that this Cushite woman had a much more influential position with Moses than they did, perhaps it was the dark complexion of her skin that created the animosity, perhaps Miriam and Aaron were upset that they were not consulted about the appointment of the seventy elders, or perhaps they became consumed by the same attitude of lust as those who died by the plague, perhaps they sought an increase in their role and visibility instead of being satisfied with their position and personal relationship with God.
The word relationship is a common thread in the life of Moses:
- His relationship with God.
- His relationship with Israel.
- His relationship with Aaron and Miriam.
- His relationship with his wife
“…pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”2
When I focus on what I don’t have, I begin to crave for it. I complain about what I lack, instead of thanking God for what He provides; I become a type of Israel in the desert. I complain to Christ (my New Testament Moses) that things aren’t right.
I tell myself that things would be alright if I just had______.
I may entertain the idea that things were not as bad before I began following Christ. Now that He has me following Him, I begin to think He isn’t measuring up to what I need in the relationship. I’d be happy if He just did what I ask. It’s a fool’s deception that robs me of a meaningful relationship with God.
What I learn from the life of Moses is how to combat these three problem areas. I'll talk more on this next week.
You satisfy me with Your precious love and grace. Certainly, there are times when I'm uncomfortable and would like nothing better than a nice breeze and sunny skies, but even when the storms of life are raging all around me, my heart cries out for the safety and shelter of Your love. Your word declares, that I have peace with You and there is nothing that is more valuable than knowing that I'm in a secure relationship with You. I am weak Lord, but You are strong. Your grace is sufficient for me. I trust You Lord, and each day, I learn to trust You more. Thank You Jesus for securing a relationship with the Father on my behalf. I ask You to look on the needs of many who are troubled and discouraged. Many are in the midst of great strife. Many are devastated by tragedy. Pour out Your grace upon their lives Lord. May Your strength be pefected in our weakness. We trust, cling to and rely upon You Lord. In the name that is above every name, I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
|Note: This post is linked to Spiritual Sundays (hosted by Charlotte and Ginger).|
- The Ryrie Study Bible (New American Standard Version), Edited by Charles C. Ryrie, Moody Publishers, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 0-8024-8920-6
- The NIV Study Bible, Edited by Kenneth Barker, Donald Burdick, John Stek, Walter Wessel and Ronald Youngblood, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, USA
- The New Living Translation Bible, by Tyndale Charitable Trust, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois, ISBN-13: 978-0842384896
- Matthew Henry's Commentary, McDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia 22101, ISBN 0-917006-21-6