The Profile of God’s Friend: Moses

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Moses, when you hear his name, what comes to mind? The baby, found by the Egyptian princess in the Nile? Crossing the Red Sea? The Ten Plagues? Of all his stories, I liked the ones when he talked with God, or when God spoke to him, best of all, when God spoke for him. Here it is.

Numbers 12:1-8
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it.

(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) Suddenly the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them came out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam. When they had both come forward, He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
I shall speak with him in a dream. “Not so, with My servant Moses,
He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth,
Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

Miriam and Aaron were elder siblings of Moses. They criticized Moses for marrying a foreigner. They questioned Moses’ authority and leadership claiming that they too were God’s spokesperson. Three important words followed. The Lord heard.
Note that verse 3 is in parenthesis. It was obviously not written by Moses himself even though it was included in one of the 5 books for which he was attributed to have authored. Why? He could not and would not claim to be the most humble man if he were indeed very humble more than all other people on earth, could he or would he? True humility can only be observed by other people. A truly humble person is not even aware of it. To be named the most humble man on the face of the earth is quite an honor!

Moses’ humility is the basis of God’s defense of him. When his siblings spoke against him, Moses stayed silent. God heard and God defended him.
God said to Miriam: Yes, I made you and Aaron prophets. With you, I speak in dreams and visions. But with Moses, I speak mouth to mouth and face to face. God affirmed Moses for being his faithful servant. God treated Moses as his friend – to whom He confided everything – openly.

On humility:
It is often human nature to defend ourselves when people criticize us. It is not easy to stay silent. Our reputation is at stake. Perhaps Moses stayed silent because what his sister said of him was true. He did marry a Cushite. And God indeed spoke through his siblings as well.
The mark of a humble person is considering others better than himself. C.S. Lewis once said: Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. I agree because I believe that thinking less of yourself is inferiority. A humble person has no need to defend himself because he knows his worth. He is at peace with others and himself. Moses did not retaliate. He even prayed that God healed Miriam (12:13). God punished Miriam with leprosy for speaking out against Moses. Aaron pleaded with Moses to pray to God for his sister (12:12). Moses’ humility stems from knowing his own worth. He is the friend of God.

On friendship with God:
Moses was God’s friend and confidante. He was God’s faithful servant. God revealed to Moses his thoughts and plans for the Israel people. Moses talked with God face to face (12:7-8). He asked to see God. God granted his request and put him in the cleft of the rock to cover him and let him see His back (Exo 33:22). God listened to Moses’ plea for his people – for forgiveness, for mercy to spare them from His wrath (Exo. 32:11-13). What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. What an honor to be God’s friend. God indeed gives grace to the humble just as he rejects the proud (James 4:6).

Moses’ humility puts him in friendship with God. God heard. God defended. God lifted him up.
Friendship with God calls for humble obedience to God’s word. It is about being faithful and loyal to God’s cause. It is seeing God in everything. It is opening our eyes and ears to what God has to say.

The world distracts us. It clouds our eyes and dulls our ears with pleasures of the flesh, temporal things that give momentary pleasure. Things of the world pass away but the word of God stands forever.

Dear friend, are you friends with God? Read the Bible and be friends of God. Let God be your confidante and friend. Pray that you will be like Moses, a friend and confidante of God – whom God speaks heart to heart as you seek to see His face, to know His character, to discern His ways and purpose for you. Be a humble friend of God!

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