“Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.”- Numbers 12:3
By any account, Ezekiel is one of the great men of the Bible. Daniel, whose prophecy we will begin to study later this month, is also one of the great men of the Bible, and in the book of Ezekiel he is actually mentioned as one of the most righteous men who has ever lived (Ezek. 14:12–20). In His grace, the Lord has not only revealed Himself to us in His Word, but He has also given models for us to follow in serving Him, pious men and women who show us how to live for Him and, at times, even how not to live for Him. We will now take a break from our study of the Old Testament prophets to look at some of these fathers and mothers in the faith more closely. Dr. R.C. Sproul’s teaching series Great Men and Women of the Bible will guide us in our study.
Moses is the first individual we will consider in our study of the great figures of the Bible. Without a doubt, Moses towers over most of the other figures in redemptive history, as He was the mediator of the old covenant. We speak of a mediator as one who stands between two parties in order to bring about a reconciliation, and that is what Moses did during His ministry, taking the law of God that had been revealed to him and giving it to the people of Israel while bringing the needs and sins of Israel to the Lord in prayer. However, although Moses’ primary work of mediation happened at Sinai, it is important to see that God prepared this man for his task from the very beginning of his life.
Preserved by the Lord from certain death and brought up in the court of the pharaoh, Moses’ early life was characterized by power and privilege (Ex. 1:1–2:10). Yet he never forgot where he came from, and he spent a good portion of his life coming to the defense of the weak and helpless. He struck and killed an Egyptian who was beating one of his own Hebrew kinsmen. Then, after fleeing to Midian, Moses saved the daughters of Jethro from some bullies who were out shepherding their flock (2:11–22). Such events, and no doubt many others, prepared him to mediate between helpless Israel and the powerful pharaoh when it came time for him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
Despite his boldness, Moses was also known for his unparalleled meekness (Num. 12:3). Humility and strength are not polar opposites. In fact, it takes strength to be meek, for the meek individual is one who does not release all of his power and prestige in response to every situation. In this, Moses is a model for leadership in the kingdom of God (Matt. 20:26).
In biblical categories, strength and service go hand in hand. Christian leaders do not seek out others to be their servants; rather, they serve the people who are under them, seeking to help them grow in their gifts and to assist them in doing good work for the kingdom (Mark 10:35–45). This principle applies whether you are an elder in the church, own your own business, serve as a manager, or are leading your own children in the things of God.
Passages for Further Study
1 Samuel 24