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Moses is the most important person in the Old Testament. And in this post, I want to answer a few questions that are important for any believer. How can one enter God’s calling for his life? What traits are God looking for in the life of a person He wants to call into the ministry? These are important questions. Let us see what can we learn from Moses.
Names are important in the Jewish culture and thinking. Moreover, the names of the people in the Bible speak volumes for any serious student of the Scriptures. The word used in Hebrew for ‘name’ is shem. And shem means ‘name,’ but it can also mean ‘character’ [one can read more about this here]. Therefore, the Word of God is even more powerful in our lives when we know this and when we understand verses like the one in Proverbs 18:10 (TLV)
The Name of Adonai is a strong tower. The righteous one runs into it and is set safely up high.
The ‘Name of the Lord’ or ‘the character of the Lord’ is ‘a strong tower’— it is powerful. It leaves you with the idea that one can put his trust in God’s character/Name.
After I became a believer and surrendered my life to Jesus, the Lord spoke to me about my calling. And He began talking to me about my name, which is Moisa. And Moisa is very similar in the Romanian language with the name Moses. Furthermore, God began revealing to me that I have a similar calling with Moses. I am not sure about the details of my calling and many other aspects. However, I know He will reveal them to me, in His time.
Therefore, after God started to reveal His calling to my life, I began searching the Scriptures and meditating on Moses’s calling and life. And while I was doing that, I was asking the Lord to speak to my heart. So, let me share with you three lessons we can learn from his life, as one can find them in Exodus chapter three:
1. Moses was a faithful man.
In Exodus 3:1a (TLV) we read
Now Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian.
Moses was a faithful shepherd, for 40 years! We know from Exodus 7:7 that he was 80 years old when he encountered God at the burning bush. For 40 years Moses was a student at the best University of Egypt, as the Prince of Egypt. And from the ‘Harvard of Egypt,’ he ends up at the ‘University of Midian’ and will have his graduation at the ‘Burning Bush University.’ In other words, God was teaching Moses something in His school in Midian. He was teaching Moses faithfulness.
Moses had to come out of Egypt, but Egypt had to go out of him too. And he had to learn how to be a shepherd. Shepherds were despised by the Egyptians (see Gen. 43:33, Exodus 8:26) because they worshipped, among many other gods, the ram-god. And the Jews, as shepherds, were making a living by growing and eating sheep— the Egyptian god.
However, from Abel to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, we can learn that there is something special about shepherds. Even God is compared with a Shepherd in Psalm 23:1, and Jesus is called ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10:11, 14). Moreover, God is not compared with a hunter. A hunter takes lives, but a shepherd gives his life for the sheep!
Moses was faithful to the sheep of another. He was not even tending his flock, but the flock of his father-in-law…for 40 years! Jesus said in Luke 10:12 (TLV)
Now if you have not been trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you anything of your own?
These words of Jesus are crucial for any of His disciples!
2. Moses moved out of his comfort zone
So he led the flock to the farthest end of the wilderness, coming to the mountain of God, Horeb.
Do you know why God called Moses when he was 80 years old? In this verse, we have the answer. It was because one day he decided to cross the desert!
Until that day, Moses was tending the flock to the border of the desert, but he never crossed it. He probably just looked over and saw from a distance the mountain of God, and maybe he wondered what the deal with it is. However, he remained in his comfort zone.
And you know that our comfort zone and God’s zone are two different ones? Moreover, between these two zones, there is a desert! And I know we would like God, somehow, to cross the desert/wilderness for us, but He expects us to do that. He wants us to walk into the unknown wilderness of our life trusting that He is with us!
Moses decided one day to cross the wilderness, and that was the day when he had an encounter with the Lord, at His place— the mountain of God. Many Bible scholars do not consider Mount Horeb a real mountain. Moreover, they say it looks more like a hill. However, God calls it a mountain, and God is right! The Jewish Rabbis call it ‘the humble mountain.’
Often, after we faced considerable challenges in our life and crossed the desert, we expect to see something great. However, often all we see is ‘a humble mountain.’ Nevertheless, we experience God in a new way whenever we choose to do that.
3. Moses was curious
In Exodus 3:2-3 (TLV) we read
Then the angel of Adonai appeared to him in a flame of fire from within a bush. So he looked and saw the bush burning with fire, yet it was not consumed. Moses thought, “I will go now, and see this great sight. Why is the bush not burnt?”
Curiosity is one of the most important traits in the life of a leader. Here we read that Moses was curious about the things of God. He saw a bush burning and wondered what was happening there, and he asked questions!
He did not say ‘oh, how sweet…a bush is burning and it is not consumed…maybe I will go there to take a closer look, next month or next year.’ No, he went to see (he was curious) what was the deal with it.
Often, God is hidden in the details of our life. Think about this: is God speaking to you right now through a burning bush that you ignore? Ask God to reveal that to you, because we do not want to miss anything He has for us. I know I do not want that!
God used a (faithful) shepherd, a humble mountain and a bush for His plan. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 (TLV) we read
Yet God chose the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the wise;and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong
You know God can do that, right? Moreover, He loves to do that, and He takes glory by doing this! This is a pattern we can see all over the Bible.
The word in Hebrew for ‘bush’ is pointing someone to the image of a thorny bush. And a thorny bush is nothing special, and even more, I would say it is good for nothing. Animals cannot use it for shelter, because of the thorns. Moreover, people cannot use it for the same reason, for anything— maybe just for fire.
However, God used something that is ‘good for nothing’ to reveal His glory! And if God can use a thorny bush, He can use you too and me! One day I told the Lord something like that: Lord, I want to be your bush. Without You, I am good for nothing. Without You, I hurt people with my thorns and I want to be used by You for healing not for hurting people. Lord, if You can use a bush, You can use me too. Leave Your Presence upon me and make me burn with passion for You!
Without God, all we can do is hurt each other. Like the bush in our text, we need God’s Presence upon us to remove the thorns in our lives. Therefore, let us ask God to have His way in us and change us from inside-out. And let us pray for faith to trust God while He is doing this marvelous work in us.
Furthermore, let us ask forgiveness for the times we were not faithful stewards, not moved out of our comfort zone to encounter God and were not curious about His ways.
Do you agree?
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