MOSES’ FAREWELL MESSAGES
Text: Deuteronomy 32:1-4 “Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”
Commentary: Deut32-34. These three chapters narrate the farewell messages of that great man, Moses. Moses went through thick and thin of ministry. A good Christian should learn from him tremendously; from his birth to the last page of his life. At birth, the sword of Pharaoh hunted him, but God secured his life in the hand of those he was created to destroy, what a mighty God we serve;
Isaiah 44:25 “That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;” (also Job5:12). As a young man, he wanted to help God but he ended up in exile where he learnt submission and obedience; the lesson is that you should never do God’s work in your own strength; He gives the required strength and power for His assignment. We could notice these trails in Moses’ ministry after being called into ministry; he never took any action without asking God who called him; that was the meekness the Bible talked of about him. Hidden pride is not meekness. It is quite unfortunate that many went through bible schools, seminaries, colleges and universities, but the spirit of the teaching is never evident; rather pride is acquired as collars and stoles, garment of positions and pride are received instead of garment of priesthood and servitude.
John 12:43 “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”
Matthew 23:5-7 “But all their works they do to be seen by men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi.”
A lot don’t have a tenth of the tremendous grace upon Moses, but the advertisement they put on themselves is quite disturbing to one who has seen a bit of His glory. A genuine vision does not glorify the carrier but the Giver. Moses feared God indeed. Genuine vision makes one to fear God in His glory. Moses did not just wake up to suggest the person who was to step into his shoes after his departure from earth; rather, he inquired from God and God said it was Joshua. This simply translates into his commitment to the perfect will of God. He knew it was a privilege for him to be a vessel to be used; he reduced himself to nothing after seeing God’s glory and realizing that he couldn’t have been qualified, this was grace.
Exodus 33:19 “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”
He did not play politics in God’s service. He did not seek for his children or relations to take over the mantle after him but sought God’s face for His will. When it comes to grace, only God’s has total control over it. When his nephews brought strange fire and they were killed, Aaron, their father was very sad; but Moses warned Aaron to take God’s work and interest first. He was even warned not to weep for the death of his children. The rancor in ministries now, are due to politics of favoritism, ‘God-fatherism’, unholy ambitions and the like. Absolutely, such have not met the Lord where Moses met Him (he saw the leprosy hiding in his life, Ex4:6) or where Paul did (where his knowledge was made foolish and his blindness was revealed. An ordinary person prayed for him before he could see again); the point of genuine exchange is where the heart is changed and a right spirit given;
Ezekiel 36:26 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”
Moses served in three ministries in his life; the ministry of Pharaoh, that of his father-in-law and God’s ministry. Moses plugged into the real ministry which God called him at quite an old age. He experienced a very painful ministry because God sent him to the stubbornest set of people. He went through a lot of discouraging moments. Unfortunately, the last chapter of his ministry was not too good; yet he never denied God. He obeyed His commands and sought God’s perfect will unto death. In most cases, we think God is not there in our difficult times, but the truth is that all things work together for good to those who are the called according to His purpose. It was good for Moses to die at that time rather than see the corruption he predicted in Deut31:29;
Isaiah 57:1-2 “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.”
The peace Moses entered was revealed on Mount of Transfiguration, Luke9:30. Christian life is not about long life but about a fulfilled and accomplished life. The disciples lived fulfilled lives. Long life has nothing to do with God without being fulfilled. Methuselah was given the opportunity to get something done for God, unfortunately, not a single accomplishment was recorded about him for God. Though he helped in populating the world by making more children;
Genesis 5:26-27 “And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”
A worldly person seeks to remain on earth perpetually and oftenly amass wealth as if he would never die. Some even desire streets and buildings to be named after them.
Psalms 49:10-12 “For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.”
This applies to men of God and workers in the vineyard who want their children to inherit their ministry; for it to continue in the family. The ministry given to a man by God is not the man’s but God’s. That ministry is the labor available for you to be hired and He rewards accordingly.
Acts 13:2 “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.”
God owns the labor for which we are called and at the same time He gives the GRACE to get the work done. No man could do His work without the grace. Once grace ceases, life and strength ceases and such is cut off from the divine.
John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Jesus came with GRACE and TRUTH. In essence, we are just vessels for His ink, the Holy Spirit. Once the ink is done, the vessel becomes irrelevant no matter how beautiful the vessel is. It is the ink that leaves the impression on papers. It is the ink that carries the message for the generations on earth to read even after many years. For as long as the ink remains, the message (WORD) and the work (MANIFESTAION, EVIDENCE, ACT, POWER or TESTIMONY) remain. The vessel allows the Ink to flow through it, i.e. for as long as the vessel YIELDS the Ink works, speaks and expresses. It is the Ink that carries the mind of the Writer; the vessel does not. The Ink remains the ink in the vessel if the vessel does not yield and, thus, the mind of the Writer cannot be expressed. In such a case, the Writer seeks for another yielding vessel for His Ink to flow through. The unyielded vessel only has the ink within as an impression which dries out with time. The vessel does not seek its own but the mind of the Writer. Once the vessel starts boasting of what was done as its effort, the vessel is self seeking and this is an undue tamper with the integrity (glory) of the Writer. The Writer is God, the Ink is the Holy Spirit and the MIND OF GOD or MESSAGE, spoken or written is the LORD JESUS, the LIFE in the Ink. You cannot separate the WORD and the SPIRIT; if a person has the WORD but not the Spirit, the Word becomes the word (i.e. voice of the flesh even though it sounds like the Word, e.g. Luke 4:9-11). Having the Spirit without the Word will make the Spirit not to flow as to touch lives; just like having the ink but the pen not writing, no message will be passed. The vessel must seek the TRINITY and not itself.
Moses did not seek his own but God’s will. We are only fulfilled in God’s will. It is good to pray for fulfilled life for the Apostles of our time and not infamous ending of a long life;
2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
Every Christian has a course to be finished. Those who have never gotten to the point of exchange rarely finish it and, in most cases, they are the pains, distractions and unprofitable vessel of a ministry or life; if you come in contact with such, you need serious prayers and fasting for them not to negatively affect your ministry just as they did to Moses at Pisgah. Songs and Hymns are the expression of God’s breathe over man. Moses wrote his farewell message in songs. There are three things we must notice in the songs; the truth, God’s mind and imparts on life. He finally blessed the Israelite. The end of Moses is worth studying. Every genuine man of God, who walked with God with the whole heart, faithfully run the race and loyally finished the course always have a concluding message for the world; otherwise, the life becomes Satan’s message for the world. May your hand be sufficient for you in the name of Jesus. As you read and study the books of the law along with the gospel, you will be able to see deeper into the difference between the LAW and the GRACE. The law is for those who are spiritually dead while grace is for those that are spiritually alive. Whoever remains under the law is not under grace and whoever is under grace receives strength and power to overcome sin and the world, i.e. dead to sin and the world. Keep the fire burning and alive.