Moses [Mō'zez]—drawn forth, taken out of the water or a son. The youngest son of Amram and Jochebed, of the family of Kohath (Exod. 2:10-21; Acts 7:20-38; Heb. 11:24, 25).
The great Hebrew leader and legislator was born at the time the king of Egypt had resolved on the destruction of every newly born male child among the Israelites. The story of his rescue from the water by Pharaoh’s daughter, of her adoption of him as her own son and his royal upbringing has charmed our hearts from earliest years.
It would take a volume in itself to fully expound the virtues and vicissitudes of Moses the historian, orator, leader, statesman, legislator and patriot. His greatest honor, however, was the privilege of being known as “the friend of God.” What holy intimacy existed between God and this prophet so supernaturally guided and aided in his life and labors! No wonder this mighty leader of Israel was David Livingstone’s favorite Bible hero!
Moses lived for 120 years, a period divided into three sections of forty years each:
The first forty years—from his birth until the flight into Midian. As Pharaoh’s son, Moses learned how to be somebody.
The second forty years—from the flight into Midian to the Exodus. In desert places he learned how to become a nobody.
The third forty years—from the Exodus to his own exodus. As the leader of God’s hosts he learned that god was everybody—the One he could speak to face to face as a man speaks to his friends.
The remarkable life of Moses can be viewed under three more aspects:
I. The moment when he turned fully to God.
II. The moment when he absolutely broke with the world. The refusal and choice of Hebrews 11:24, 25 must be carefully noted. It is not enough to refuse—we must choose. We must back up a negative with a positive.
III. The moment when between himself and God there was the sprinkled blood, the blood of atonement.
Further, Moses, the Law-giver in Israel, supplies us with a fitting type of Christ. Taken together we have these similarities which pastors can develop:
Moses gave us the first five books of the Old Testament, known as The Pentateuch. When Jesus said, “Moses wrote of me,” He set His seal to the Mosaic authorship of these books. Moses died in the plains of Moab. At the ripe age of 120 years, while yet “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated,” God called His faithful servant to climb Nebo’s lonely mountain, where, upon its summit he was kissed to sleep by the angels and God buried him—the only man in the Bible to have God as his undertaker (Deut. 34:6).