Sabbath, May 12, 2012
“And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And He said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” Exodus 3:11, 12.
Leadership and sacrifice
1. What adversities did Moses face, and with whom? How did God prepare him to lead His people?
Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
Exodus 16:2, 3 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Acts 7:39-41 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.
“God saw fit to discipline Moses in the school of affliction and poverty before he could be prepared to lead the hosts of Israel to the earthly Canaan. The Israel of God, journeying to the heavenly Canaan, have a Captain who needed no human teaching to prepare Him for His mission as a divine leader; yet He was made perfect through sufferings; and ‘in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.’ Hebrews 2:10, 18. Our Redeemer manifested no human weakness or imperfection; yet He died to obtain for us an entrance into the Promised Land.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 480.
2. From whom did Moses receive instruction? How are integrity and ethics maintained in leadership?
Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.
Psalm 15:1, 2 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
2 Corinthians 6:4-8 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true.
“‘This is he
“The ethics inculcated by the gospel acknowledge no standard but the perfection of God’s mind, God’s will. God requires from His creatures conformity to His will. Imperfection of character is sin, and sin is the transgression of the law….” –That I May Know Him, p. 131.
“All he has to do is to follow the leader Jesus Christ who will tell him just what to do. God beckons to you from His throne in heaven, presenting to you a crown of immortal glory, and bids you to fight the good fight of faith and run the race with patience. Trust in God every moment. He is faithful that leadeth forward.” –Mind, Character and Personality, vol. 1, p. 105.
Leadership and humility
3. How was Moses’ humility seen in his leadership? What is God’s promise to all who cherish this virtue?
Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
“He was the meekest of all men. He did not seek to control the Holy Spirit, but was himself controlled by the Spirit,…” –The Upward Look, p. 227.
“The burden of God’s work, laid upon Moses, made him a man of power. While keeping, for so many years, the flocks of Jethro, he gained an experience that taught him true humility…. The command to deliver Israel seemed overwhelming; but, in the fear of God, Moses accepted the trust. Mark the result: He did not bring the work down to his deficiency; but in the strength of God he put forth the most earnest efforts to elevate and sanctify himself for his sacred mission.” –Conflict and Courage, p. 370.
4. Can we say that it was an easy task for Moses to lead such a large company of people under such circumstances? In what risky situation did he sometimes find himself?
Exodus 17:4 And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.
Numbers 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.
“… [The] Angel went before them in all their journeyings and directed all their travels. Because they were so ready to forget that God was leading them by His Angel, and to ascribe to man that which God’s power alone could perform, He had proved them and tested them, to see whether they would obey Him. At every trial they failed. Instead of believing in, and acknowledging, God, who had strewed their path with evidences of His power and signal tokens of His care and love, they distrusted Him and ascribed their leaving Egypt to Moses, charging him as the cause of all their disasters. Moses had borne with their stubbornness with remarkable forbearance. At one time they threatened to stone him.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 166.
5. On what was Moses’ success in leadership founded? Comparing Moses’ leadership with that of King Saul, what differences are apparent?
Exodus 3:11, 12 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.
Exodus 4:13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
1 Samuel 13:13, 14 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.
“The divine command given to Moses found him self-distrustful, slow of speech, and timid. He was overwhelmed with a sense of his incapacity to be a mouthpiece for God to Israel. But having once accepted the work, he entered upon it with his whole heart, putting all his trust in the Lord. The greatness of his mission called into exercise the best powers of his mind. God blessed his ready obedience, and he became eloquent, hopeful, self-possessed, and well fitted for the greatest work ever given to man. This is an example of what God does to strengthen the character of those who trust Him fully and give themselves unreservedly to His commands.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 255.
A leader with a vision
6. Considering that he was a prophet, to whom did Moses constantly direct the people’s attention to give them hope?
Deuteronomy 18:15-18 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
“Moses was a type of Christ. He himself had declared to Israel, ‘The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.’ Deuteronomy 18:15. God saw fit to discipline Moses in the school of affliction and poverty before he could be prepared to lead the hosts of Israel to the earthly Canaan. The Israel of God, journeying to the heavenly Canaan, have a Captain who needed no human teaching to prepare Him for His mission as a divine leader; yet He was made perfect through sufferings; and ‘in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.’ Hebrews 2:10, 18. Our Redeemer manifested no human weakness or imperfection; yet He died to obtain for us an entrance into the Promised Land.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 480.
7. What special testimony do the Scriptures give of Moses and his service at the end of his life and mission?
Deuteronomy 34:10-12 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.
Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.
“Moses was dead, but his influence did not die with him. It was to live on, reproducing itself in the hearts of his people. The memory of that holy, unselfish life would long be cherished, with silent, persuasive power molding the lives even of those who had neglected his living words. As the glow of the descending sun lights up the mountain peaks long after the sun itself has sunk behind the hills, so the works of the pure, the holy, and the good shed light upon the world long after the actors themselves have passed away. Their works, their words, their example, will forever live. ‘The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.’ Psalm 112:6.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 481.
“… Men are to beware of taking to themselves the glory which is due to their Maker. He could not grant the prayer of Moses that he might share the inheritance of Israel, but He did not forget or forsake His servant. The God of heaven understood the suffering that Moses had endured; He had noted every act of faithful service through those long years of conflict and trial. On the top of Pisgah, God called Moses to an inheritance infinitely more glorious than the earthly Canaan.” –Conflict and Courage, p. 111.