Truth, Understanding, Insight

Precious Promises

1st August 2016, hej


9) A Promise to Moses Personally

Yahweh spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. ..
Moses said to Yahweh, “See, you say to me, Bring up this people: and you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, 'I know you by name, and you have also found grace in my sight'. Now therefore, I pray ye, if I have found grace in they sight, show me now thy way, that I may know you, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is your people”.
And he said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest”. Exodus 33: 11-14

This is a personal promise to Moses. We note two things are promised :that Yahweh would not leave him and that Moses is given rest. Rest? Leading a nation that caused him much trouble? What is meant by rest?

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.

It is clear from Hebrews that the ‘rest’ refers to a future time of peace. To continue, Moses was told he had found grace when he asked for Yahweh to be with the nation and asked to see His glory (Exodus 33:15).

Number 34: 5 And Yahweh proclaimed the name of Yahweh..and Yahweh, Yahweh God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the 3rd and to the 4th generation.

Moses worshipped, and asks Yahweh to go among Israel and,

“pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance”.
He said, “Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which you are shall see the work of Yahweh: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with you. Numbers 34: 9-10

Israel was to obey commands and he would give them the land of Israel and if they went 3 times a year to worship he would enlarge their territory in the land of Israel. This was a covenant (Numbers 34:11-27). There Yahweh wrote “upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments”.

This time the sign that goes with the covenant is the 10 commandments. Moses becomes a mediator between his people and Yahweh and asks and receives the pardoning of their sin. Moses is endorsed as faithful and it is recorded Yahweh speaks straight, with no similes, analogies or visions.

My servant Moses is faithful in all my house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, & not in dark speeches. Numbers 12:7

Despite all this, Moses after leading the nation to the land is then told,

“Get you up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel. And when you have seen it, you also shall be gathered unto your people, as Aaron..” Numbers 27: 12-13

And again on a second separate occasion (see Numbers 33), just before Moses dies, he is taken to another mountain.

Moses went the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And Yahweh showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
And Yahweh said to him, “This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, 'I will give it unto your seed': I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there”. Deuteronomy 34 1-4

Is Moses shown the land twice to underline his failure? Or, is it so he can see his hope? If we compare Yahweh’s dealings with Saul, where he refuses to talk to him, we see that though Moses is reprimanded, Yahweh is still with him (to the extent that no less than God buries Moses body!). The second exchange at Nebo does not mention, as at Abarim, Moses' sin in striking the rock. Instead it seems Yahweh is doing something special this 2nd time as he says to Moses, “I have caused you to see with your eyes” this land. At Abarim Yahweh shows Moses the land he had given to Israel. Then at Nebo Yahweh shows Moses the land he has promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the seed. Now Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were dead. Imagine you are Moses, knowing that Jacob died in Egypt, and you are told that Jacob will be given this land you see, and not only that but the seed of Jacob, of whom you are one, will also be given this land. This is a promise of ‘not now but later’. This point is further explained in the New Testament commentary on Moses

The commentary on the promises to Moses in the N.T

Jesus said Moses wrote of him, pointing out we must believe Moses.

'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead'. Luke 16:31
'For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me'. John 5:46

Twice the Disciples refer to Jesus as a prophet like Moses

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. Acts 3:22
This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. Acts 7:37

Paul in a summary of his ministry says he has been adding no new information and is only preaching things Moses had written about.

witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: Acts 26:22

Moses is shown as a great example of faith. If eternal life is to be inherited, Moses will inherit it!

Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; Hebrews 3:5

He is also an example of faith in the letter to the Hebrews,

24 By faith Moses.. refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Hebrews 11 24 -27

There is one statement that is a key. Verse 26, says Moses had 'respect' (or had fixed his eyes) to the 'recompense' (or wages), “of the reward”. It does not say he had fixed his eyes on the reward, but to the wages of the reward. The wages is an agreed thing, the deliverable of a contract. Yahweh says to Abram that He is Abram’s exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1). Perhaps it could be paraphrased as 'Moses fixed his eyes on receiving the wages of the reward promised by Yahweh'.

The writer to the Hebrews is stating Moses’ beliefs. Where in the Bible does it say what Moses believed during his exile? In Hebrews 11 the writer make statements regarding Abraham, Isaac and Jacob declaring they are ‘strangers’ in the land. Moses does this also,

Exodus 2: 22 And she (Zipporah) bare him a son, and he (Moses) called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.

Moses does not say “I am a now a stranger” but rather “I have been”. He is not, therefore, referring to his exile in Midian, but rather to another exile. Moses had understood that while in Egypt the children of Israel were all strangers, just as Yahweh had told Abraham (Genesis 15:13). Moses in naming his son declared he was a “stranger” and that he believed the covenant Yahweh had made with Abraham.

Moses was looking to the time when he would not be a stranger and would inherit the Promised land. This concept of being a stranger was his motivation for rejecting his position in Egypt, and for enduring the wanderings. Moses died a stranger in Moab. He was allowed to see the Land where he would 'rest' and not be a stranger in the future. Moses, like Abraham, is still awaiting the recompense, which is the land, the wages Moses fixed his eyes on, is eternal life. The reward is the land.

There is one reference to Moses that could be missed.

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

In the song in Exodus 15 Moses boldly speaks of a specific and absolute victory of Yahweh over all nations. The second song in Deuteronomy 32 ends with an explanation of the judgement and justice of Yahweh.
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