Monday, March 1, 2010

Just a Glimpse

I've been thinking about Moses today. The book of Numbers tells how God told Moses to climb a mountain and look out over the land he was giving to the Israelites -- the Promised Land. Then He said, "After you've seen it, you will die for you rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness." (If you're not sure how he rebelled, see my post from 2 days ago.)

When I read those words spoken by God, I felt bad for Moses. He had been slandered by his fellow Israelites all while trying to help them. He had worked harder than anyone else to get the Israelites to the Promised Land and now all he gets is a glimpse of it. I can just picture him standing there on the mountain looking out over the great land that he'd worked so hard to get to and knowing that he'd never enter it. Imagine being on the cusp of your dream, everything you've wanted all your life, and then being told -- "Take a peek and then you die." I believe that God is good and so I believe that He was being gracious in allowing Moses to see the land before He died, and yet, in some ways it does seem a little cruel.

But the amazing thing is Moses' response. If I had been in his place, staring at my dream and then hearing it was my time to die, I think I'd have gotten down and begun to beg God, saying, "Please Lord! Please let me enter the Promised Land." Instead, Moses doesn't ask for anything for himself. He says, "Lord, please appoint a new leader for the community because without a leader these people are like sheep without a shepherd." In his last moment, Moses is still concerned about the people he's been leading. And it's not like these people were all that kind to him. They complained, they rebelled, they slandered -- and it doesn't matter, Moses still cared for them. That is the mark of a true leader.

Numbers 12:3 says that Moses was more humble than any other person on earth. Sure, he had a major slip as far as humility was concerned that kept him from the Promised Land. But at a moment when thinking of self would've been natural, he thinks of others. He shows that his true character was one of humility. In the difficult moments, where things don't go my way or I don't get what I've dreamed about and worked hard for, will I show a character of selfishness or one humility before the Lord?

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