When coming up with an answer to the hypothetical question, “Who in history would you like to have dinner with?” I think one of the people near the very top of the list would be Moses. Why? Well, he was simply remarkable and lived an amazing life trusting God through a strong and powerful faith.
Moses was born a Hebrew, and as a baby he was cast adrift in the Nile River, rescued, and raised by Egyptian royalty. From this uncertain beginning, Moses rose to become one of the great leaders in world history. He was specifically chosen by God to deliver the Israelites, a population estimated at 2 million people, from Egyptian bondage.
The secret sauce to the leadership of Moses was his friendship with God. He openly communicated with God, serving as God's mediator to His people: “The Lord would speak to Moses as one would speak to a friend” (Exodus 33:11).
Imagine having this type of personal relationship with the Almighty Creator. We witness this through the faith of Moses as our example. God first got the attention of Moses, by speaking to him through a burning bush and Moses recognized this voice as God's voice for the rest of his life. While Moses' relationship with God and his leadership qualifies him as one of the most remarkable men to ever walk the earth, I think what I find most captivating about Moses is WHO he was, as much as what he did.
Moses was a man of high character and integrity, yet also a flawed man who committed a most grievous act, the sin of murder. Prior to communicating with God at the burning bush, Moses had an unfortunate encounter which shaped his life for the next 40 years. Moses always had a strong sense of justice, but one day he took it too far, which resulted in his killing of a man. One day Moses intervened while witnessing a Roman overseer who was brutally beating a Hebrew slave. Moses murdered the Egyptian. Afterwards, Moses banished himself to the fields and mountains for 40 years, for life as a shepherd. Raised in privilege, Moses was forced into the wilderness of Midian for the next several decades of his life. 40 years alone in the wilderness is a long time. It's most certain that during that time Moses had doubt, uncertainty and humility thrust upon him. There are times in each one of our lives when we wander through our own personal wilderness. Outwardly Moses was in exile yet inwardly God was at work in Moses’ heart, to mold him into the man who would eventually lead his people to freedom. Moses is as relatable as he was remarkable.
Moses also suffered from what many of us suffer from today - a lack of self-confidence and a fear of speaking in public. He felt woefully unqualified for the role God asked him to assume. Moses was a normal man, who harbored flaws and doubts, just like you and me. However, God saw the character and integrity of Moses and chose and empowered him to be a great prophet and leader of the Exodus. I imagine that while tending his flocks and looking at the stars during his time in the wilderness, Moses never dreamed he would be the one leading 2 million of his people out of Egypt. He probably never envisioned being the one to present the Ten Commandments to the world, yet he did. And like Moses, I sat at my desk at work, not imagining that God would actually choose me to lead a small group, or serve the homeless, or travel to Cuba to help build a church. But God does plant His visions within us. And that’s why we look to emulate the character of Moses and develop habits of trust and obedience to hear God’s call as he turns the routine into the remarkable.
“The Lord would speak to Moses as one would speak to a friend” (Exodus 33:11).
Questions to Consider:
- How can I cultivate a friendship with God?
- Do I trust God to strengthen me when I feel weak?
This week’s reading plan will cover much of the book of Exodus as we look at the life of Moses from birth to Mount Sinai.
TODAY READ: Exodus chapters 1 through 3 on Moses’ birth, his exile,and his conversation with God at the burning bush.