Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.”
Deuteronomy 34: 10
Our first article on Moses discussed the first eighty years of his life, which prepared him for his
final forty years. Let us continue the narrative:
Following Israel’s deliverance through the Red Sea Moses began leading his people to Mount
Sinai, but the people began to murmur. They murmured against Moses because the waters of
Marah were bitter. The Lord showed Moses a tree, which, when he cast it into the waters, they
became sweet. When they murmured against Moses because of a lack of food, God sent them
manna and quail to eat. When they again had no water, Moses struck a rock and water came out
of the rock.
When they arrived at Mount Sinai, Moses went up into the mountain for forty days and forty
nights, where he received the Law, including the Ten Commandments. But when Moses’ stay in
the mountain seemed too long, the people persuaded Aaron to make them a golden calf to
worship. When Moses returned and witnessed their idolatry, he angrily cast the two tablets down
and broke them. After the rebellion was put down Moses again ascended the mountain and
received the Ten Commandments a second time.
Leaving Mount Sinai, Moses led them to the border of Caanan. He sent twelve spies, one from
each of the tribes, into Caanan to explore the land. When the spies returned they gave glowing
reports of the land’s fruitfulness, but ten of the spies were fearful, and discouraged an invasion of
the land. Only Joshua and Caleb encouraged them to invade and conquer the land. But the
people murmured and clamored for a new leader who would take them back to Egypt. Because
of their lack of faith God condemned that entire generation to perish in the wilderness, except for
Joshua and Caleb.
At the end of forty years wandering in the wilderness Moses again led the Israelites to the border
of Caanan. The book of Deuteronomy may be considered Moses’ dying message to Israel, and
was perhaps uttered within a few days of his death. It consists of four addresses, the appointment
of Joshua to be Moses’ successor, the Song of Moses and the blessing of the twelve tribes.
Moses went to the top of Pisgah, a peak on Mount Nebo, where the Lord gave him a glimpse of
the promised land. There this grand old servant of God was put into the sleep of death by the
Lord whom he served. The Jews have a saying that the Lord kissed him there. The Lord buried
him in an unknown place, where he awaits his resurrection.
Hebrews 11: 24-29 elaborates upon Moses’ faith. Although he testified to his faith in God in
various ways, perhaps the most remarkable was his renouncing the privileges of the throne of
Egypt, whom he was the heir by adoption. He chose to suffer affliction with the people of the
Abrahamic promise, rather than to dwell in luxury. The key to his faith was that “he endured, as
seeing him who is invisible.” This is still true today, that the endurance of trials and testings is
possible only to those who can see those things invisible to others, especially the invisible King
of glory and His, as yet, invisible Kingdom!
Through faith Moses also instituted the Passover with Israel and the sprinkling of the blood,
even though he was perhaps not able to comprehend their full meaning. His faith was again
demonstrated in the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea.
Moses states in Deuteronomy 18: 15: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet
from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Comparing this
passage with Acts 3: 20-23, we recognize that Moses was a picture of the greater Prophet – the
Christ (Jesus the Head, and the Church, His body). The entire Gospel Age was set aside for the
raising up of the members of this class – for their preparation, education, discipline and
exaltation. The word prophet means teacher, indicating that the Christ will be the Teacher, as
well as the Priest, King, Mediator and Deliverer of the world in Christ’s Kingdom.
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