Thursday, February 28, 2013

face to face with God

Moses had no end of trouble from the children of Israel as he led them through the wilderness. They were complainers, gripers, grumblers, malcontents, etc. Nothing was good enough for them - not even the presence of God Himself. He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night yet they failed to trust Him. 
Moses faced opposition from the general mass of people as well as from his own family. The day came when Aaron and Miriam, the brother and sister of Moses, challenged his position as God's chosen leader. Their complaint stemmed from jealousy causing them to defy God's order as they questioned, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?" God had indeed spoken through them and they made the mistake of assuming that God spoke through Moses in the same manner as He spoke through them.

Ultimately God shut them down with a warning, in the form of leprosy, to never go there again. The part that interests me most about this episode is how God described Moses when rebuking the siblings. Read on:

"Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you, 
I, the LORD, make Myself
known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream.
Not so with My servant Moses;
He is faithful in all My house.
I speak with him face to face.
Even plainly, and not in
dark sayings;
And he sees the form of the LORD.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against My servant Moses?"

Numbers 12.6-8 (NKJV)

He spoke to others through dreams and visions, but with Moses He met face to face. He spoke plainly with Him as with a friend and Moses saw "the form of the LORD", which was most likely a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ. God had a close and personal relationship with Moses. Go back for a  moment to the years in Egypt and the decades in the backside of the desert herding goats. During those years this intimacy did not exist and yet it was through those years that God was working to bring Moses to this point. 

God used the early struggles of Moses: the murder of the Egyptian, his rejection by the Israelites, fleeing in fear of the justice of Pharaoh, loneliness and futility herding the flocks of another. Each experience, each event, each year served as a test or trial. As the trials piled up Moses' character was being shaped under the pressure. He came through the other side formed into the meekest man to live and a friend of God whom God met with face to face.

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