Vol. 12 No. 4 April 2010
By Bonnie Rushmore
Bible students, young and old, can tell you the account of Moses’ mother hiding him in a basket and placing that basket in the Nile River to save him (Exodus 1:15-2:11). Most Bible students know that God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses on tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18; 32:15-16; 34:1-4). Many Bible students remember hearing of God speaking to Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 3). Some Bible students can tell you that Moses struck the rock and water poured out of it (Exodus 17:1-6; Numbers 20:1-12). These are just some of the biblical accounts of Moses’ life recorded in the books of Exodus and Numbers.
Having knowledge of biblical stories is needful to the child of God, but more importantly, one needs to apply lessons from these stories to one’s life in order to become a better child of God. Listed below are a few characteristics gleaned from the great lawgiver, Moses.
Moses was impatient (Exodus 2:11-12)
Moses was curious (Exodus 3:3).
Moses was prone to make excuses (Exodus 3:11; 13; 4:1, 10, 13).
Moses eventually had great faith (weak faith Exodus 2:1-5:23; growing faith throughout the balance of the books of Exodus and Numbers).
Moses had a temper (Exodus 32:19; 34:1; Numbers 20:10).
Moses suffered the consequences of his sins (Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 34:1-7).
Moses was pleasing to God (Deuteronomy 34:1-7; Matthew 17:1-5; Mark 9:1-8; Luke 9:28-36).
Following are two major lessons we can learn from this great man.
Moses’ faith and trust in God grew over time. When God first told Moses to go to Egypt to free His people from Egyptian bondage, Moses’ faith in God was weak. He used several excuses to not do as God instructed. God became angry with Moses and sent Aaron to assist him (Exodus 3-4). Together, Moses and Aaron led the children of God out of Egypt toward the promised land. During the next forty years one can see Moses’ faith and dependence on God grow. Likewise, Christians should be ever growing in faith and dependence on God. A new Christian cannot be expected to have the faith and knowledge (Romans 10:17) of an individual who has been a Christian for many years. Nor, should a Christian of many years have the same faith he had when he first obeyed the Gospel (Hebrews 5:11-14).
Great men of God occasionally sin. Moses was a great man of God even though he sinned. The difference between Moses and many today is that Moses repented of his sins while many today refuse to repent and follow God. We must remember that even though Moses repented, he still suffered the consequences of his sins. God allowed Moses to see the Promised Land, but not enter into it. After viewing the Promised Land, God buried him on Mount Nebo. Moses appeared with Elijah at the Transfiguration of Jesus in the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke. This is further proof that Moses was pleasing to God and has an eternal home with God in heaven.
Just like Moses, Christians today can have an eternal home in heaven with God if we repent of our sins and live in obedience to God’s will. However, sometimes we suffer consequences for our sins. Obedience to God did not change the fact that Moses did not enter Canaan, the Promised Land, nor does obedience to God keep us from dealing with the consequences of our sins. We must never develop the attitude that our sins are so bad God will never forgive us. Neither should we think that we are so valuable to God that He will overlook our sins. God forgives all who repent (Luke 13:3, 5), confess (Romans 10:9-10), are baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and live as best as they can according to God’s will (Revelation 2:10). When a Christian succumbs to the temptation to sin, then that individual must repent and diligently strive to faithfully serve God. Let us all determine to follow the Bible, serve God and take as many with us to heaven as we can.