There has been no epitaph written for any servant of God, dead or alive, more fitting and true than that of Moses. Leadership in God’s community is often an unthankful job; and since God uses mere humans to fill these jobs, some fail under the pressure of constant criticism and complaining. Only eternity will tell whether some of our past and present leaders will receive a similar commendation as Moses.
“Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt‑‑ to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
“Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo….There the LORD showed him the whole land‑‑ from Gilead to Dan, And Moses the servant of the LORD died there….He buried him in Moab…..but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone.” .
So it is that when the call of God is answered, and God’s servant steps out in faith, God guides and protects, and His presence is ever near. His servant is blessed with all the good things of life, and God eventually calls His servant home to be rewarded. However, let us not forget that all God’s servants are still human and prone to failure!
Leadership is a great and grave responsibility!
“He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honour me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” <Num 20:10-12 NIV>.
We often think that in this act Moses failed miserably. Humanly speaking, yes! God also held him accountable! Was there, however, another reason for God not permitting Moses to enter the Promised Land? God revealed Himself to Moses as the “God of Judgement”. Moses ushered in the administration of Law, led the people through the desert for 40 years, during which time all those who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness. Now the people of God were to cross over “in faith” into the Promised Land, a picture of God’s grace. God’s grace to an undeserving people! Law and grace cannot be mixed (the epistle to Galatians) therefore; Moses who represented the law could not cross over into Canaan. Moses had to exit the scene, and God in His grace to Moses removed him from the scene.
To be a leader like Moses one needs: a hide like a Rhinoceros; humility to walk with God and mankind; to be an intercessor, and to have a “face to face” experience with God so as to reflect His glory.