I don’t think that anyone who has read over, at least a few times, what God’s Holy Word has to say about Moses, can end up having anything but admiration for Moses. Moses definitely did not have an easy walk with God, not so much from his personal shortcomings, albeit Moses had a few, but primarily with regard to how Moses interacted, from a practical perspective, with Israel, during the wandering in the wilderness.
And of course, we have the whole 40 year wilderness experience, that many of us can identify with, as it applies to our own walk with God. Regardless of how you look at it, forty years is not a short period of time, and the numerous witnesses of God’s protection, provision and trustworthiness during this period of time, were considerable. Yet we all are mindful of the numerous instances of Israel’s refusal to trust and rely in God. And to say that many Christians can identify, as having had a “wilderness” experience, including myself, especially with respect to the “wandering” and “not trusting” perspective, is not uncommon.
The shortcomings that Moses had, are relatively easy to identify with, as it applies to our own Christian walk. Thinking that we are not qualified or not articulate enough is not an uncommon excuse and giving in to the demands of those we are responsible for, even when we know that it may be detrimental to them in the lone run, is also not uncommon. Just because we have come to have knowledge of, or acknowledge a truth, does not always guarantee that we have the fortitude and ability to lovingly apply it, when necessary, both to ourselves and others, to whom we are responsible for. But even with these shortfalls that Moses had, he was steadfast in endeavouring to fulfill the specific directions that he was given by God and those specific directions were indeed complex and considerable. Consider the Tabernacle, the Priesthood, the sacrificial offerings, the festivals and of course, The Law.
And then, in spite of all that Moses had been faithful to, in fulfilling the will of God, throughout that most trying and substantial period of time, a human weakness that all of us can identify with (sheer frustration), compelled Moses to overlook the specific commandment of God that he had been given and react to a demand of Israel, by attributing the act of meeting their need to himself and then disobeying the commandment to speak to the rock, by instead, striking the rock yet once again. There is a good review of what transpired by gotquestions.org which you view here. It is noteworthy that even though Moses disobeyed the commandment and instructions of God, God still allowed the water to run forth from the rock that had been struck twice, to meet Israel’s water requirements.
If you clicked on the link that I provided above from gotquestions.org you would have seen the following: “The water-giving rock is used as a symbol of Christ in 1 Corinthians 10:4. The rock was struck in Exodus 17:6, just like Christ was crucified once (Hebrews 7:27). Moses’ speaking to the rock in Numbers 20 could have been meant as a picture of prayer. Jesus was “struck” once, and He continues to provide living water to those who pray in faith to Him. When Moses angrily struck the rock, he destroyed the biblical typology and, in effect, crucified Christ again.”
And then of course, because Moses had not honoured God in front of Israel, Moses himself is forbidden to enter the promised land. Moses could view it, see it from afar, but he himself could not actually enter into it. Moses then later dies at the age of 120, with none of his abilities impaired, and God Himself buries Moses, at a place known only to God. Again, gotquestions.org has a good overview on this here.
Fast forward to the transfiguration as noted in Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36. And who appears with Jesus and Elijah? That would be Moses!
Now at this point you’re probably wondering why I am relating all of this to you. I’m thinking this is an answer to prayer.
This morning I was relating to God how it grieves me that I still have shortfalls and have a long way to go before I ever get even remotely close to who Jesus is. For me that is reality. It is what it is. There is hardly a day that goes by that I am not mindful of something I could have done better or totally avoided. True, not nearly as bad as I used to be but still a long way to go, and bear in mind, I am 76 so I don’t have a lot of time to get this all sorted out.
And yet God knows that I truly believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that He is my only hope. That also is reality. Yes I know that Jesus is my righteousness. Yes I know that everything that God asks of me is met in Jesus. I know that. But the me in me is still here and I still fall short and I really don’t see that changing to any great degree while I am still in this body. And that grieves me, it truly does.
And then, a few minutes later, God told me to look at Moses. Right out of the blue.
And no, it is not a comparison of Moses and myself, because even there, we’re not even on the same ball field, but there are some similarities.
Both of us trust/trusted in God.
Both of us have acknowledged shortfalls.
Both of us can be influenced by sheer frustration.
And both of us, at one point in our walk, have not received what we want to receive.
Both of us have been honoured by God, in our walk with Him.
And, after Moses left this world, He was with God and received all that he had desired and more.
Consider: 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 NASB
”For we know that if our earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, since in fact after putting it on, we will not be found naked. For indeed, we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!