Cover to Cover
Reading: Deuteronomy 32:48-34:12
Focus: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
The Buddhist have Siddhārtha Gautama (that is, Buddha), the Muslim have Muhammad, the Christians have Jesus and the Jews have Moses. If you say anything against Buddha, Buddhist think you’ll just be reincarnated a bug; if you say anything bad about Muhammed, Muslims will have your head; if you say anything bad about Jesus, the Christians are too concerned about their own internal disputes that they won’t pay you much attention (I should know) and the Jews…may the wrath of the Lord God Almighty be upon your head should you say anything against Moses (I actually don’t know what they’d do…though I doubt you’d be let off so easily).
You have to understand, humanly speaking, Moses, effectively, one-handedly created the nation of Israel. Of course, he did so with the aid of the Almighty God and had some help from people along the way, but essentially pulled the whole act off on his own (which tells you how much God did)! How one man led a people of approximately 2 million people…? These are certainly big shoes to fill…and again, it only serves to reflect upon the work of God in Moses’ life. Here, in the person of Moses, was a man utterly sold out and reliant upon God each and everyday.
The closing words of Deuteronomy say (Deuteronomy 34:10-12):
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.
What an awesome epitaph to be given! However, earlier Moses had told the Israelites: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15) Ever since, the Israelites have been waiting for this prophet, one like Moses, full of power and awesome deeds. In time the expected person came to be titled as “The Messiah”—the anointed one, a prophet like Moses.
For us Christians, He is known to us as Jesus the Christ (that is, Greek for “the anointed one”). He is the great prophet, expected by the Jews, one in the power of Moses full of power and awesome deeds. However, where the Jews expected that the Prophet would be one to free them from their oppression under foreign powers, Jesus did not seek to free them from their physical oppression as much as He did their spiritual oppression.
Moses was a great man, but he was still just that—a man. Jesus was a great man, but He was also the Son of the Most High God, sent to bring in the Kingdom of God. The means? His death and resurrection, so that the Kingdom of Darkness would be destroyed and that all the people of this world, enslaved by this spiritual Egypt would be released and make their journey to the Promised Land, to the pearly gate of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Hats off to you, Moses. Well done, good and faithful servant. Your King has come and His Kingdom is here.
Next Reading: Joshua 1:1-6:27