Friday, September 25, 2009

Lessons from Moses

I just finished Deuteronomy (finally) and it ends with Moses dying in Moab and God burying him. It would be easy for me to skim over that fact - God buried Moses Himself. When I stop and really think about that, it touches something deep in me that God would stoop to bury someone. He could have gotten someone else to do it, but He didn't. He did it Himself for His friend Moses.

Moses is one of my favorite Bible characters to date. He had fear issues and he had a temper. He got frustrated, yet he also grew and changed so much from the man we saw cowering before the burning bush, giving God every excuse he could think of to avoid his big fear - speaking in public.

So, what did I learn from reading about Moses. If I go all the way back to the beginning, the first thing I learned from the life of Moses was that God has a plan for our lives. Moses was born at a particular time and place for a reason. God protected him so that he could grow up and perform the task God had for him. God placed him in the home of the Pharoah. I'm not sure what it was like for Moses as the adopted Hebrew son of Pharoah's daughter. I don't know if he was part of the family or always an outsider. I do know that despite growing up in wealth and splendor, Moses had a longing to be a part of his true people. If I apply that to my own life, as someone who is also adopted, I can rest assured that God had a reason for where and when I was born and His hand was in what family I was adopted into. I have the life I do for a reason and a purpose.

The second thing I learned from Moses is that even when we make mistakes, BIG ones, God may let us run away for a while, but He always comes to find us with our assignments. Moses, in anger, killed an Egyptian overseer. Apparently, being the adopted son of Pharoah woulnd't have saved him from punishment, so he ran. To the desert. There he met his wife - Zipporah and her wise father in law. God used that time in Moses' life to find him a wife and to put in his life a wise man. While Moses probably thought that his life as a shepherd in the desert was all there probably was, God hadn't forgotten about Him and sought Him out.

The third thing I learned from Moses is that fear is not a good enough reason not to obey God. When God called Moses and told him to go speak to Pharoah, Moses came up with every excuse in the book not to go. Why? Because he was afraid. We know he was not an eloquent speaker, but I think some of this had to do with who he had to speak to. We don't know the relationship of the Pharoah (who would have been a stepbrother to Moses) and Moses. Maybe they had been close or maybe it was strained. But I'm sure it didnt' help Moses want to go tell this guy to let the Israelites go. Sometimes, speaking to those you know is harder than speaking to a stranger.

The fourth thing I learned is that what God calls you to do, He will equip you to do. Even if you have no natural talent for it, God will give you everything you need to get the job done.

The fifth thing I learned from the life of Moses was his incredible love for a stubborn, difficult people. Despite the fact that Moses was often exasperated with the children of Israel, time and again he begged God to spare them, often praying and fasting for long periods of time. That hit me because how often do I pray that fervently for others?

The sixth thing I learned was that others sin shouldn't make you sin. When Moses struck the rock out of anger, he lost his chance to enter the promised land. It doesn't seem fair to me, but that's the way it was.

The seventh thing I learned from Moses is that we should love and seek after God with all our hearts. At one point God offered to give Moses the land and give him all the blessings but God wouldn't go with him. Moses refused. He wanted God more than he wanted the blessing. Moses longed to see God's glory, even if it killed him.

Finally, I see God's love and care for Moses even to the end. He showed Moses the promised land and then tenderly buried Moses Himself. I believe (it doesn't say) but I believe that Moses finally got his wish - I believe he died seeing God's full glory. What a way to go and I don't think in the end he cared if he saw the promised land because he saw God instead.

~ blessings, Bronte

Friday, September 18, 2009


You know, I really enjoy reading my Bible. It seems like every day I see something in there that is new to me, even though I've been in church since I was a baby. I went to a Christian school and a Christian college, but it still amazes me how new and fresh something can be and what the Holy Spirit can show me.

However, once in a while, I come across a verse and think What in the world??? Today was a day like that. I was reading in Deuteronomy (I'm about halfway through the book now - yeah!) and came across Deut. 25:11, 12, "If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity."

Um, okay. I know that all Scripture is given for a purpose, so I have to ask myself, was this really a big problem back in Israel? I mean, really? It is PART of Scripture so God thought it was important enough to put into the Bible, but to be totally honest this one leaves me scratching my head. I have to admit, if my dear hubby was in a fist fight with someone, that would be about the last thing that would come to mind to stop it. (although, come to think of it, it would probably be quite effective!) Perhaps it was fine to hit them over the head with a chair or something, just don't grab them.

I guess what I can take away from this is keep your hands to yourself. Hmmm.
~ blessings, Bronte

Monday, September 7, 2009


So, I'm still reading in Deuteronomy. In my defense, I have stopped several times to do Bible studies. Hopefully, I can actually finish the book shortly! :) But I noticed that Moses seems a little bitter. In chapters 7-9, he mentions THREE times that he can't go into the promised land "because the Lord was angry with me on your account." He then goes on in chapter 8 to recount all the times the children of Israel messed up, stressing that God wasn't giving them the land because of THEIR righteousness, but because of the inhabitants wickedness.

One of the things he harped on was their unwillingness to go in to take Canaan in the first place. The whole reason they were sentenced to wander and die (at least that generation) in the wilderness to begin with.

And what was behind their reluctance to go beat the giants of the land? Fear. Plain old fear was the cause of the Israelites rebelling against Moses and refusing to take down the enemy. They chose to believe their fears over believing God.

It's easy for me to point my finger and say, well, goodness, God got you over the Red Sea and now you are balking at a few measly giants? But I know the outcome of the story and they didn't yet. It seems obvious to me, these millienum later, that God was going to come through, but fear loomed large in their minds and it clouded out God.

So, instead of entering the promised land, they wandered in the wilderness and never saw the promised land. Fear kept them out of the promised land, or I should say believing their fears over believing in God's power kept them out of the promised land forever.

Yes, it is easy for me to point my finger but what promised lands am I missing out on because I believe my fear over God's goodness, His promises, His past workings in my life? Ouch! That hits a little closer to home.

I also find it interesting that Moses repeatedly tells the children of Israel, a new generation that stands poised to take over their promised land, to remember all the things God has done for them, to not only remember but pass those on to their children. Why? I think the lesson is if you focus on all that God has done in the past, it becomes easier to choose to belief over fear in the present.

Sometimes, I wonder why I don't see God in bigger ways in this day and age. Some people say it is because God just doesn't do those things anymore. I wonder if it is more I am unwilling to go fight the giants, to step out in obedience and faith, rather than stay safely on the other side of the Jordan where it is safe and known. I wonder if it is because I want to know the outcome before I attempt the deed. Maybe I need to start recounting God's goodness in my life and then it will be easier to believe God rather than my fears.
~ Blessings, Bronte