Moses: The Servant of God

When Joshua was given leadership over Israel after the death of Moses, he referred to Moses as the servant of God (Joshua 1:13). The idea of being a servant carried the meaning of submission, of yielding to the will of another, which in the case of Moses, was to obey God, and see that His purpose was fulfilled in doing all that God had commanded him. Phrases such as, "and Moses did as the LORD commanded him" (Numbers 27:22) are used to describe his commitment to God. The Hebrew writer would say of Moses, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Hebrews 11:25).

 Moses faced a challenging task from God, in that he was to lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and establish them as the people of God, a people for His own possession, dedicated to obeying God, rather than the ways of the nations. The commandments God gave them, the Law of Moses, was to reflect the righteousness of God in them, instead of the sins inherent in the pagan nations that surrounded them, of those people who rejected God and lived by the desires of the flesh instead. God told Moses,"And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; and that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses" (Leviticus 10:10-11).

 Moses was faithful in teaching the will of God to the Israelites, not just to avoid association with the other nations who walked in sinful practices, but to avoid adopting those practices as their own. God told Moses, "Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, anddo them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spew you not out" (Leviticus 20:22). Even a cursory reading of the Pentateuch shows, when Israel disobeyed God and set their hearts against Him, the consequences were every bit as severe as it would be for those nations that rejected a knowledge of God. The rebellious and stubborn heart of that generation, save Joshua and Caleb, would cause them not to enter the promised land (Hebrews 3:16-19).

 It was quite a challenge for Moses to seek and instill holiness in this people, to mold them as God's covenant people, submissive to His will. Moses, however, knew what is was to be a servant of God, and sought to impart that knowledge and desire in this people. Israel was to be God's servants, showing holiness to the world around them, walking faithfully in His commands, overcoming sin and the destruction that comes in its practice. The call is no different for those who would be people of God today. Today, we are called to the gospel, to be servants dedicated to Him, reflecting His image of holiness to the sinful world and around us. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:14-16).

 Robert Johnson, Longview, TX