As far as I have seen in the Bible, Moses was one of the closest to God and personally I am very much encouraged, inspired & impressed by his great intimacy with God. A mere man who had enjoyed maximum direct fellowship with The Holy God – the Father.
During Moses’ time, the presence of God was terrifying. When He descended on Mount Sinai in fire in the sight of all the people, there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, Mount Sinai was covered with smoke. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently, as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. When He descends, no one was allowed to come nearby that area, as the Lord had commanded Moses that, “put limits for the people around the mountain and also asked to tell them that, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, may they approach the mountain.” It was His strict instruction that none should come beyond set limit.
Author of Hebrews mentioned in 12:18,19 that, ‘For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, & the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore’. Amidst all these awesome & scary view where everyone in the camp trembled, Exodus 19:20 says, ‘The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up’. Only Moses had enjoyed that freedom to enter boldly in His awesome & heavenly presence. What an intimacy!
Also at the time of the giving of 10 commandments on Mount Sinai – Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. But Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights without any food & water. Still when Moses came down from Mount Sinai the skin of his face shone. In another incident it is written, ‘When Moses entered the tabernacle, the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.’
Moses was not only leader of Israel but also the great Prophet, because whatever God wants to communicate to the people of Israel, He was communicating through Moses. In every major or minor issue of Israel, God was dealing with Israel through Moses only. They always enjoyed sweet fellowship like friends in the Tent of Meeting. Moses was so much blessed & habitual of His presence that once, he asked God that, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” Exodus 34: 15, 16. It seems that God’s presence was the sign of grace for Moses!
Howard Dayton (Founder of Compass- Finances God’s way) wrote in his book that, “Our life on earth is so brief when compared with eternity; yet how we live on earth will influence how we live throughout eternity.” Meeting God in the ‘Tent of Meeting’, at the ‘top of the mountain’ had become routine in Moses’ life during his last 40 years of his life’s journey. And I think same life style of meeting God on the top of the mountain – he is enjoying after his death also, i.e. on the mount of transfiguration – Peter, James & John saw Moses & Elijah talking with Jesus. (Mathew 17: 1 to 3)
Perhaps following are the reasons of his closeness:-
- He was very humble– more than all men who were on the face of the earth as per Numbers 12: 3.
- He was a great intercessor– for the sins of people of Israel. Every time he had interceded for forgiveness of the sins committed by the children of Israel. At one point of time, he had the extreme love for the people of Israel & asked Lord that, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” Exodus 32 : 31, 32, Psalm 106 : 23.
- His hunger to know God & His ways– A man who was spending days & nights in God’s presence & God was revealing His ways by laws & commandments, still he asked God that, “Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.” (Exodus 33:13) Truly, 1000 years of our life are also not sufficient to know Him. He is beyond our thoughts & imaginations. But the fact is, to know Him is eternal life (John 17:3). We can enjoy eternal life on this earth by knowing Him more & more.
- His faith – By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. (Hebrews 11:24 to 29)
As per Deut.34 :7 he was 120 years old when he died on mount Nebo, at the top of Pisgah, & His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.
Living Word confirms about him according to Deut.34: 10 to 12 that, ‘But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.’
(Incident references – Exodus 19, 24, 33)
Anjali J. Benjamin
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