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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 5: Moses – The Father Of Israel


Deuteronomy 33:1-29.

Before you can lead you must learn to love

God said of Moses – No prophet has arisen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. Deuteronomy 34: 10

Moses didn’t lead the People of Israel into the Promised Land. He failed in that role because he disobeyed God – he struck the rock (like last time) instead of ‘speaking’ to it this time. Yet no other human being had ‘given his life’ for the People of Israel like Moses. The Bible also records that there has never been anyone as humble as him. He was certainly a very unique man.

He had given up the Palace for the plight of the Israelites. He had to escape from Egypt and live in the Wilderness in preparation of his return. He had to overcome his reticence and timidity to return to Egypt. He had to ‘promote’ the cause of the Hebrews before an antagonistic, volatile and determined Pharaoh. He had to trust God when all the circumstances were going against him as well as the anger of the Hebrews who felt he was just adding to their pain. He had to lead an unruly rebellious multitude of frightened misfits and slaves from Egypt into the barren wilderness and an unknown future. He had to ‘deal’ with hardships, disappointments and the faithlessness of his brother, as well as the people.

Yet we find that when God threatened to annihilate the people ‘once and for all’ and start again with Moses’ children – Moses ‘stood in the gap’ and said, “No, God, banish me, NOT the People.” I find that beyond understanding! He put his eternity on the line for the people of Israel. God, being a just God, did not take his life even though the offer was made. His true love for the people was beyond description. Even just before he was about to die – God had already revealed it to him – he still took time out to bless each of the Israelite Tribes as we read today!

What a man!

In our ‘dog eat dog’ society, which promotes self-aggrandisement and self-centredness, we need to hear what Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant.” Matthew 20:26

Moses would say to us today...

If you really want to lead people – first show you love them and really seek their betterment. You will never lead anyone until you show you really care for them. That’s what a father does! He loves & leads!


Father, when I look at Moses I realise that he was an incredible person. No wonder You loved talking to him. Please help me become someone You like talking to with such intimacy. Teach me to have compassion for people and through that love lead them to know and love You too. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Additional readings

Philippians 4:4-9; Psalm 103; Luke 4:38-44.


Why is it so easy for us to get ‘frustrated’ with people?

How can we grow in our love for people?

What is the greatest thing we can do for those living next door to us?

What can we do to help those with whom we work?

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Sold Out For Jesus and Ring of Truth – daily devotionals by John White
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