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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Leadership lessons from Moses (Part 4)

Moses’ life teaches us the lesson that there are certain sins that will continue to haunt us all throughout our lives (Lesson #6). That same hot temper that had gotten Moses into trouble in Egypt also got him into trouble during the wilderness wanderings. I mentioned Meribah earlier in the discussion. At Meribah, Moses struck a rock in anger in order to provide water for the people. However, he neglected to give God the glory, and he had not followed God’s precise commands. This is why God forbade him from entering the Promised Land. In like manner, we all give in to certain besetting sins which plague us all our days.

Our favorite sins require us to be on full and constant alert!!!

These have been just a few of the practical lessons that we can learn from Moses’ life. However, if we look at Moses’ life in light of the Scripture taken as a whole, we see larger, theological truths that fit into the story of redemption.

The author of the Book of Hebrews (probably the Apostle Paul) devotes ten verses of the eleventh chapter to Moses and the faith he displayed. We learn hear that it was by faith that Moses refused the splendor of Pharaoh’s palace in order to identify with the predicament of his people. The writer of Hebrews says, “[Moses] considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt” (Hebrews 11:26). Moses’ life was one of faith, and we well know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Likewise, it is by faith that we, looking forward to heavenly riches, can endure daily hardships in this lifetime (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

Moses was a “type,” a predecessor, a foreshadowing of the life of Christ. Like Christ, Moses was the go-between or intermediary of a covenant. Once again, the author of Hebrews goes to great lengths to demonstrate this point (Hebrews 3, 8–10). The Apostle Paul also makes the same points in 2 Corinthians 3.

The difference is that the covenant that Moses mediated was temporal and more importantly conditional; whereas the covenant that Christ mediates is eternal and unconditional.

Like Christ, Moses provided redemption for his people. Moses delivered the people of Israel out of slavery and bondage in Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land of Canaan. Christ delivers His people out of bondage and slavery to sin and condemnation and brings them to the Promised Land of eternal life on a renewed earth, which will be consummated upon His return.

Like Christ, Moses was a prophet to his people. Moses spoke the words of God to the Israelites just as Christ did (John 17:8). Moses predicted that the Lord would raise up another prophet like him from among the people (Deuteronomy 18:15). Jesus and the early church believed and taught that Moses was speaking of Jesus when he wrote those words (John 5:46; Acts 3:22, 7:37).

In so many ways, Moses’ life is a forerunner of the life of Christ. As such, we can catch a glimpse into how God was working His plan of redemption in the lives of faithful people throughout all of human history.

This gives us hope that just as God saved His people and gave them rest through the actions of Moses, so too will God save us and give us an eternal Sabbath rest in Christ; both now and in the life to come.

Finally, it is interesting to note that even though Moses never set foot in the Promised Land during his lifetime, he was given an opportunity to enter the Promised Land after his death. Moses was seen on the mount of transfiguration with Christ and Elijah.


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