Feb 04, 2019
Solomon dedicated the temple that he built in Jerusalem with this statement: “Blessed be God, who has given peace to his people Israel just as he said he’d do. Not one of all those good and wonderful words that he spoke through Moses has misfired.” (1 Kings 8.56 MSG) Moses passed the test of a true prophet – everything he spoke came to pass.
Moses’ contribution receives additional confirmation in half a dozen places in the New Testament. One of the best comes on the very day of Jesus’ resurrection when he talks with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Lk 24.27 says, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” What an endorsement – Jesus uses the writings of Moses to explain Himself!
One other notable event is Jesus’ transfiguration on the mount. Luke 9.30-31 says, “And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Who better to encourage and consult with Jesus about his upcoming death and resurrection than the two prophets who had been taken by God?
The final forty years of Moses’ career proved to be a grand milestone for God. Moses became a remarkable leader, chosen by God to create a nation out of a slave family of more than a million persons. It was not just any nation. Under God’s dictate and direction, Moses crafted the most sophisticated culture on earth. It took forty years and the death of a fickle and superstitious generation.
When the training was complete, however, a nation of unprecedented wisdom and practice emerged from the wilderness. The rest of the world has gleaned the very best of moral and civil law from their example ever since.
As Moses pointed out in his extended sermon (Deut 4.5-8, MSG),
Pay attention: I’m teaching you the rules and regulations that God commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You’ll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what’s going on, they’ll say, “What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We’ve never seen anything like it.”
Yes. What other great nation has gods that are intimate with them the way God, our God, is with us, always ready to listen to us? And what other great nation has rules and regulations as good and fair as this Revelation that I’m setting before you today?
God’s dealings with Israel have been a window through which the world can see into the glory and grace of God. My wife and I can testify that listening to God and God listening to us has been a powerful component in the influence we have had on those with whom we work and those who are our neighbors.
When God called Moses, he had lived two thirds of his lifespan with little more to show for it than privilege (in Pharoah’s palace) and obscurity (hiding in Midian). He listened to God and obeyed everything God called him to do. This took a humbleness of heart toward God and a boldness toward men and challenge. He was transformed into one of history’s most exceptional leaders. The impact of his obedience was the creation of a nation with an extraordinary culture. That nation is still in existence today – the world’s longest span of national identity by a wide margin.
Moses was at work when God first caught his attention. What would listening to God look like for you today? “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chron 16.9