Sunday, April 06, 2008

Upright and Just is HE

How would you feel if someone asked you to do a really big task - one you thought you couldn't handle and from which you actually tried to get yourself excused - but you agreed to it after this individual convinced you he would be with you through the whole thing. So you listened to him and did everything he told you, in spite of the grumbling and complaining the people all around you were doing. You were simply doing as you were told and the people were blaming you for their misfortune. Though the going was tough, you obeyed the one who was leading you and did your best to lead the ornery, grumbling people around you. You were an upstanding person and were looking forward to the end of this journey, and the promise of goodness you had been given.
When you signed up for this adventure, you had no idea how long it would last. But because of the bad behavior of the people you were leading, the journey consumed a full third of your life. Still, you did as your leader commanded.
Except for that one time when you broke faith with him, when you did not uphold his holiness among the people you were leading. But that was only once.
What if all that happened, and your leader told you that because of that one time you dishonored him, you would not be allowed to obtain the promise he had given you at the beginning?
Would you be angry?
Would you accuse your leader of being unfair and cruel?

Moses didn't.

In fact, when this happened to Moses, he said,

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Deuteronomy 32:4

I just finished reading the book of Deuteronomy and was drawn to the above verse because it describes God so wonderfully. I read it and thought, Yes. God is just. His works are perfect. Moses was right in saying these things. Then I considered what Moses had been through and what was going to happen to him in the coming moments, and I was even more amazed at his faith in God.
Moses had led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years, dealt with their grumbling against him, pleaded with God for them, and commanded the Israelites to do everything God had said. All this Moses did so he could lead the Israelites into the land God had promised their forefathers to give them - a land flowing with milk and honey. Then there was that one time in Numbers 20 when Moses was disobedient to the Lord - when he struck the rock, rather than speaking to it - and God said, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them." (Numbers 20:12)

Moses reluctantly agreed to do this thing God called him to. He spent 40 years of his life leading a disobedient, grumbling community of people through the desert. He, himself, was disobedient. Once.

Yet, through it all, God was perfectly faithful and just.

Then God told Moses to come up a mountain so he could see the land the Israelites would cross the Jordan to possess - the land to which Moses had led them - but he would only be able to see it. Moses would never set foot in the promised land because, on that mountain, he would die.
And, knowing he would die without entering the promised land, Moses said, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

Is anyone else amazed by Moses' response to God here? Does anyone else think he would have been justified in protesting, "Aw, c'mon, God. After everything I have been through, won't You just let me enter the promised land with these people?"
I have to believe it was Moses' intimate experience with God that allowed him to say, in the face of everything through which he had gone and that which was before him, He is the Rock, his works are perfect and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
I don't know about you, but I want to experience God like that!

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luvmy4sons said...

Great thoughts. Moses is described as the most humble person on the face of the earth. It is weird becaue to us it seems like such a small thing, but God judges the heart. Maybe Moses knew too his heart attitude and how wrong it was. Still, sure did seem harsh...yet God took him home which is far better than the promised land. I hope that in the face of something that difficult I can respond like Moses too!

Rachel said...

What a cool thing to be in sync with you. My reading this morning was in Deuteronomy 31 and 32. I love that Moses got to carry messages from the LORD like this one: "So, be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you." (31:6)

This goes along with what I posted yesterday about God always being in the midst of everything!!!

Mary said...

Thanks for the link to start the bible in one year. I started April 1st! And I love this site! :)

Moses is a great person to study. A great example to follow. And it's always intriguing to me to see that even those people who were 'saints' in the bible still showed human-ness and messed up. BUT God still called Moses a humble/meek person and Moses knew that God was just.

Wow. I would like to believe I could handle the same situation the smae way he did. I would like to think . . .

Coach J said...

I'd never really thought about this before. When I think of Moses, the one thing that gets me is that he actually wrote "Now Moses was very humble-more humble than any other person on earth." Do you think he asked God if he had to put that tidbit of info in the scriptures? ;-)

Jenileigh said...

I love this story. I studied this deeper by reading the story of Aaron by Francine Rivers in the Sons of Encouragement Series and I had these thoughts. I wondered how could Moses not be angry? Great devotion! Thanks for sharing!

freetofly said...

I have been studying a little of this as well. Good stuff!

Thanks so much for the Year to Read Bible Study Plan. I'm doing it also, and have been immensely blessed by it.