Saturday, 21 June 2008

My Lesson from Moses...

My 4 year old daughter, Jasmine's, introduction to the Bible was a Veggie Tales DVD titled "Mo and the Big Exit", put in normal terms as "Moses and the Israelites Leaving Egypt". She is also a big fan of the "Prince of Egypt"; while not perhaps completely biblically correct, was based on the same story. So, why start my blogging experience about this story in particular?

Our nightly routine includes reading from her Illustrated Children's Bible and recently I read Jasmine the story of Moses striking the rock, sinning against God and being told he would not enter the Promised Land, and then his death.

I was OK with the story and understood that Moses wouldn't be allowed to lead the nation into the Promised Land, but that's when the emotion started stirring up inside me. I kept reading on about the bronze snake and the talking donkey. But, when I started reading about Moses having his one last talk with the Israelites, then going up onto the mountain to see the Promised Land, and then dying, the tears started falling. So much so that Jasmine had to tell me to "talk properly Mummy".

After settling Jasmine in her bed, saying her prayers and giving her a kiss and cuddle goodnight, I decided to open up my Bible and do some study on what happened. I knew that part of what I was feeling was purely and simply good old fashioned sentimentality. You know in the movies how the girl doesn't get the guy, someone misses out on doing or getting something they've worked so hard for, etc. Basically, I felt sad for Moses. But I also knew that God was speaking to me. He wanted me to learn from this reaction about the sin and death of this Servant of God.

Moses spent 120 years on the earth with the bulk of that as God's servant. He wrote the introductory books of the Old Testament. He spoke at length with God in the Tent of Meeting. He spent time on Mt Sinai with God. He just did and witnessed all these amazing things for and of God that it's probably incomprehensible to even understand them as we live and breathe now. So why did I feel the way I did?

I believe it's because God was telling me a very important message; that even if I strive to live, breath, move and do everything for Him, I am not to disobey Him and take credit for His good works as my own. I must be patient, even with those whom I find intolerable to bear at times. I must always honour Him in everything I do, say, believe, even if it means condemnation on my part. I must be His, totally, completely and undeniably, so that I can glorify Him always. I must also learn to take punishment as it is deserved, accept that I have sinned, ask for His forgiveness, be weak in His strength, and in all of this I must, and I mean MUST, always glorify Him. Everything I have is from Him, just as everything that Moses and the Israelites had was from Him; it wasn't by their own works. Yes, they travelled and toiled a long way and for a long time in the desert, but in everything that happened to them - the good and bad, there was an opportunity to learn and grow. And that, summed up in five words is what it is all about; an opportunity to learn and grow. Plainly and simply said, but with two words missing - "for Him".

It's all for Him. God gave me this life I'm living. I've messed it up a bit along the way, but by His saving grace, I am where I am today...exactly where He needs me to be.

So my lesson from my emotional reaction to the story of the sin and death of Moses, Servant of God, can be summarized as this:

I must obey God; I must give Him the credit for all my good works, as they come from Him; I must be patient; I must not speak or act rashly; I must accept discipline from God when deserved; I must glorify Him in everything I do and say; and I must look at everything as an opportunity to learn and grown for Him, who shows me His grace, even when disciplining me, as a good father should.

Bible references for the story of Moses’ sin and death can be found as follows:
Water from the Rock – Numbers 20:1-13
Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan – Deuteronomy 3:21-29
Moses to Die on Mount Nebo – Deuteronomy 32:48-52
The Death of Moses – Deuteronomy 34

1 comment:

  1. I find myself learning a lot from my kid's bibles. I have come across 'The Jesus Storybook Bible' which I have been learning so much from.