Monday, January 23, 2017

"What Would Moses Do?"

Exodus 2.11-12, 15-17 NASU

“...when Moses had grown up,... he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw and Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian...

“When Paraoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well.

“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock.”

The life of Moses may be divided into three 40 year periods:
  • Birth to 40 Years Old
A Hebrew baby boy was discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter. She named him Moses and raised him as her own. Moses was “educated in all the learning of the Egyptians” and grew to become “a man of power in words and deeds” (Acts 7.22). At the age of 40, Moses killed an Egyptian he witnessed abusing an Israelite. He assumed “his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him” (Acts 7.25). However, “they did not understand.” His crime was made known to Pharaoh who “tried to kill Moses” (Exodus 2.15). He fled for his life into the land of Midian.
  • 40 to 80 Years Old
Moses encountered a family of shepherdesses, “stood up and helped them,” and later married into the family. “After 40 years had passed” (Acts 7.30), while Moses was tending his father-in-law’s sheep, “an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush” (Exodus 3.2). The voice of the Lord announced Himself as “I AM WHO I AM” and called Moses to go and set His people free from their bondage in Egypt. Moses miraculously led an entire nation “out of the affliction of Egypt” (Exodus 3.17) and embarked on a journey to the promised land.
  • 80 to 120 Years Old
“This man [Moses] led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years” (Acts 7.36). Moses delivered the Ten Commandments on “stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God” (Deuteronomy 9.10). Under his direction the people of Israel built a mobile worship center called the Tabernacle and enjoyed God’s provision of daily manna until a whole new generation of Israelites prepared itself to possess the promised land of Canaan “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3.17).

There is no doubt that Moses was a truly gifted man of God. He was the greatest leader who ever lived, second only to Jesus Christ. I am inspired by the character of the man Moses who, when encountered by people in need, “stood up and helped them.” 

But, how inspired am I? Am I inspired enough to take risks like Moses did to help others in need? Or, am I content to admire this great leader without exerting myself to assist the plight of downtrodden people in my own community? 

I should get a rubber wristband that reads: “What would Moses do?” and snap it every time I feel complacent.

___________________

The portrayal of "Moses" with “stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God” (Deuteronomy 9.10) is used by permission of the artist. It is the work of the amazing American illustrator, Louis S. Glanzman, whose paintings have appeared in Readers Digest, True, Argosey, Colliers, Boys Life, New Yorker, National Lampoon, Saturday Evening Post, and many more magazines. His covers for Time magazine helped to establish Mr. Glanzman's career as a portrait painter and he is a member of the 'American Portrait Society'. Check out his fabulous work at http://louisglanzman.com/.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave, thanks for your thoughts and sorry about my hiatus last week.

In regards to Moses, yes, he was a great leader, yet at the beginning of his ministry, he didn't really start out that way. (To be addressed on my Tuesday post)

I must also disagree with you on one point, as a life long Pittsburgh Pirates fan, I believe Roberto Clemente was the second greatest leader of all time. In addition to being the greatest defensive right fielder in the history of the game, Clemente lead the Pirates to an improbable victory over Baltimore in 1971. Roberto hit .414 for the series and belted a crucial home run in the top of the 4th to lead Pittsburgh to victory in the seventh and deciding game. In addition, I submit to you the following:

Roberto Clemente hit safely in all seven (7) games of the 1960 World Series AND all seven (7) games of the 1971 World Series making him perfect — at least one (1) hit in every Fall Classic game.

Ah, but I digress. My journal entry for Monday:

"But the more they were opposed, the more they multiplied and spread."

--Exodus, ch 1, vs 12.

How true this is, and in many ways, how unfortunate for us and for our society today.

I never picked up on this statement before, but it reminds me of the oppression of early Christians. After Stephen's stoning, we are told that "a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria."

-----Acts, ch 8, vs 1.

As I understand it, that's when Christianity really began to spread. It was because of persecution that the church spread so rapidly.

I read the other day that in China, 3000 people are coming to Christ every day. A little math (and I'm terrible at math) will prove that over a year's time, one million Chinese will become Christians.

Compare that to here in America. We have to be the least oppressed people on the planet Earth. And yet, how is Christianity doing here? Recent estimates suggest that the United States is becoming 0.8% less Christian every year.

And after all, who needs God when we have every freedom imaginable, money to burn and a Starbucks on every street corner? I truly believe that our material success and life of relative leisure has lead to our spiritual demise.

So what does this mean for you and me? How can we reach people for Christ in a country where the average household has more television sets than people? (I'm not making that up, it's a statistical fact) To be honest, I don't know the answer to these questions. But I do know that I frequently struggle with the sin of self sufficiency. I need to remember that no matter how many Starbucks there are, (seven in Tigard alone) I am in complete and constant need of a Savior.

-------CMM

By the way, I'm not at all making light of the biblical, spiritual and historical significance of Moses. I wouldn't have poked some fun at you if I didn't already know you had a good sense of humor. And for the record, I do admit that Moses was a terrific leader.

But you must admit, Clemente was something special.


"Pitch me outside, I will hit .400. Pitch me inside, and you will not find the ball." - Roberto Clemente

Dave's Bible Blog said...

I like what you said... "our material success and life of relative leisure has lead to our spiritual demise". That is powerful.

Perhaps Moses was the third greatest leader just behind Roberto Clemente. I'll have to think about that one.

Dave