The Bible Speaks
“…since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face…” Deut. 34:10a
There have been many great men who have graced the history books in the story of man’s sojourn upon this earth. Conquerors such as Alexander and Caesar, Bonaparte and Washington; men of science like Einstein and Newton, Bell and Edison; men of great influence like Gandi and Spielberg, Dickens and Twain; all shaped history and influenced great numbers of people, yet, in all of history there has never been a man like Moses. God Himself called him the greatest prophet to ever arise in Israel with the exception of Christ Himself. Moses received the highest honors of all at his death; burial by God’s hand alone (Deut. 34:6). What made Moses so great? So special? So privileged?
A study of his life will reveal that he did not set out to be a leader. When God called him from the midst of the burning bush, he was reluctant to go and do as the Lord has commanded. He gave a litany of excuses to which God gave an ample supply of answers. Still, Moses wrestled with obeying God and the Lord allowed him to perform his duties with the help of his brother, Aaron. There was never a hint in Scripture that Moses was anything special; that he had a gift for oratory or an aptitude for leadership. He probably appeared to most to be an ordinary man; run of the mill; middle of the class. Yet, God used him as no other until the great Apostle Paul. What did he have that enabled him to be so mightily used of God?
The proper question is not what “did he have,” but what “didn’t he have.” Moses was the humblest man in all the earth (see Numbers 12:3). While leaders tend to get filled with themselves, Moses had emptied himself of everything. His humility showed up time and time again as God tested him and he passed each test. The people he led deserved destruction, but Moses kept interceding for them, asking God to spare them. He even offered himself in their place (Exodus 32:32) and frequently prayed for mercy from God when wrath was justified and their removal would solve all his problems. Moses was a humble man and therefore he was the most useful man in God’s kingdom. It is the man who’s only thought is God’s glory that can allow for God to fully possess him and use him more than any other. Such a man was Moses.
The Bible speaks of leadership as serving others, not being served by others. The greatest leader is not the one with the most servants, but the one who serves the most. Such was Moses and such will be anyone who truly wants to be used of God. O Lord, grant us more leaders like your man Moses whom you knew face to face!
The Rev. Bruce MacInnes is pastor of Turner’s Chapel.