None Like Moses

KEY VERSE: “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” —Deuteronomy 34:10

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

IN THE Bible, Moses is second in prominence to Jesus Christ. His name appears in the Word of God a total of 810 times, 730 of which are in the Old Testament, and 80 in the New Testament. His name appears more than 100 times in the Old Testament subsequent to his death. Throughout the more than three thousand years since he lived, reverential esteem has been held for him by the Jewish people as their great deliverer and lawgiver.

We see in Moses not only a great prophet, but also a type of the Messiah, the Christ. The Apostle Peter, in a prophecy of the work of Christ subsequent to his second advent said, “Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” (Acts 3:22; Deut. 18:15,18) In Hebrews 3:5,6, Moses is referred to as being “faithful in all God’s house as a servant” and Christ is presented as a “son over God’s house, whose house are we.”

In Numbers 12:3, Moses is described as being “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” The thought is that Moses was self-effacing, willing to endure injustices in the common interest of his people, and for the glory of God. In his difficult position as leader of God’s people he needed this quality, for he was continually being accused by those for whom he was laying down his life. Near the end of his life, the agitation of the people caused Moses to disobey God in the fetching of water from the rock.—Num. 20:1-13

Here was a brief flashback to the Moses of Egypt, who, at the age of forty, undertook to alleviate the sufferings of his people without taking Jehovah into consideration, or seeking to honor his name. His forty years as a shepherd, tending his father-in-law’s flocks, accomplished much for Moses—so much, in fact that now for nearly forty years he had endured the murmurings of his people and his family without retaliating.

Over and over again Moses had pleaded with God to forgive the Israelites, and, for the glory of his own great name, to keep them alive and bring them into the land of Canaan as he had promised. But now, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back had been heaped upon him, and the burden was a little too great, revealing that the old Moses still lived, even though for forty years suppressed. No member of the sin-cursed and dying race can actually extirpate his inherited imperfection; at best he can merely keep it suppressed.

The punishment of not being permitted to enter Canaan was severe for Moses, but his humility, together with a wonderful attitude of resignation to the Lord’s will, was manifested in his announcement to the Israelites that he would not accompany them across Jordan into the Promised Land. “The Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said.”—Deut. 31:2,3

Then he went on to encourage Joshua in this great undertaking, and how eloquently he did this! “Be strong and of a good courage,” Moses said to Israel’s new leader, echoing the words of the Lord, “for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” (Deut. 31:23) Moses’ last words of encouragement to the Israelites, whom he loved despite their murmurings, were:

“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them. … Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help.”—Deut. 33:27,29

Moses realized at the end of his life that he was only beginning to learn of the Lord’s greatness. Each test of his loyalty and humility had helped him to understand his God a little better; but, with him, as with all who reverence the great Creator, and who desire to know and do his will, eternity will not be long enough to learn all there is to know of his glorious attributes.

“O Lord God, thou hast begun to show thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might?”—words of Moses, a truly great prophet.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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