Moses – Prophet and Deliverer of Israel

moses

Some people can’t stay out of trouble. When conflict breaks out, they always manage to be nearby. Reaction is their favorite action. This was Moses. He seemed drawn to what needed to be right. Throughout his life, he was at his finest and his worst responding to the conflicts around him. Even the burning bush experience was an illustration of his character. Having spotted the fire and seen that the bush did not burn, he had to investigate. Whether jumping into a fight to defend a Hebrew slave or trying to referee a struggle between two kinsmen, when Moses saw conflict, he reacted.

Over the years, however, an amazing thing happened to Moses’ character. He didn’t stop reacting but rather learned to react correctly. The kaleidoscopic action of each day of leading two million people in the desert was more than enough challenge for Moses’ reacting ability. Much of the time he served as a buffer between God and the people. At one moment he had to respond to God’s anger at the people’s stubbornness and forgetfulness. At another moment he had to react to the people bickering and complaining. At still another moment he had to react to their unjustified attacks on his character.

Leadership often involves reaction. If we want to react with instincts consistent with God’s will, we must develop habits of obedience to God. Consistent obedience to God is best developed in times of less stress. Then when stress comes, our natural reaction will be to obey God.

In our age of lowering moral standards, we find it almost impossible to believe God would punish Moses for the one time he disobeyed outright. What we fail to see, however, is that God did not reject Moses; Moses simply disqualified himself to enter the promised land. Personal greatness does not make a person immune to error or its consequences.


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In Moses, we see an outstanding personality shaped by God. But we must not misunderstand what God did. He did not change who or what Moses was; he did not give Moses new abilities and strengths. Instead, he took Moses’ characteristics and molded them until they were suited to his purposes. Does knowing this make a difference in your understanding of God’s purpose in your life? He is trying to take what he created in the first place and use it for it’s intended purposes. The next time you talk with God, don’t ask, “What should I change into?” but “How should I use my own abilities and strengths to do your will?

Strengths and Accomplishments

  • Egyptian education; desert training
  • Greatest Jewish leader set the exodus in motion
  • Prophet and lawgiver; recorder of the Ten Commandments
  • Author of the Pentateuch

Weaknesses and Mistakes

  • Failed to enter into the promised land because of disobedience to God
  • Did not always recognize and use the talents of others

Lessons from his Life

  • God prepares, then uses. His timetable is life-sized
  • God does his greatest work through frail people

Vital Statistics for Moses

  • Where: Egypt, Midian, Desert of Sinai
  • Occupations: Prince, shepherd, leader of the Israelites
  • Relatives: Sister: Miriam. Brother: Aaron. Wife: Zipporah. Sons: Gershom and Eliezer

Key Verses for Moses

“By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (Hebrews 11:24-25)

Moses’ story is told in the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy. He is also mentioned in Acts 7:20-44; Hebrews 11:23-29.


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