Today I managed to read all the way through Deuteronomy, which I think gave my mind a wider panorama of the Torah. As funny as it sounds, I sort of grieved when I got to the end and I read that Moses had died.
“But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 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, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.”
I think we’ve read so much of Moses so far this month marching through the Torah, that I had become “attached” to Moses, like you would for a character in a novel. I sort of read Deuteronomy 34 and it hit me like the death of a beloved character in an epic story. For the record I think I also teared-up to the fictional eulogy of King Theoden after he fell in battle in Tolkiens’ Lord of the Rings.
But Moses was the non-fictional epic hero! Who on earth has done what Moses did? Yes, he was hesitant to take the job, but what a man of faith and courage Moses was! Taking on Pharaoh plague after plague! Sticking with the Exodus when the Israelites complained against him. Leading them in the First Passover, then through the Red Sea! What a cool life Moses had! And Moses led the whole Exodus in his “retirement years” (80-120)! And to have had to so much patience during all the rebellions by the stiff-necked people. I learned from the example of Moses that he was very tried, yet he was heroic in how he overcame all the odds of maneuvering a couple million Hebrews across a desert wasteland! What we can walk away with from reading the Pentateuch was that Moses had an intimate relationship with Yahweh. It seems usually that the rest of Israel, even though bringing their sacrifices and obeying at the Passover, seemed to go through the motions, not completely clear of who God was. But Moses did know God, and was the first mediator. Of course I think when Jesus says to his disciples that Moses wrote of him, it mentions the star that would appear and the snake being lifted up (so the son of man must be lifted up), but we see that Moses what a type of Christ, bringing the first covenant for blood atonement for sin (Exodus 24:8, 1 Chronicles 6:49) setting up a high standard looking forward to the more perfect covenant that Christ would bring (Hebrews 9:15) Christ even gives the perfect parallel of the new covenant when he celebrated Passover with his disciples this week, 2000 years ago “This is the cup of the new covenant which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:20
So Moses was a very blessed man, how many of us get to foreshadow Christ? And how many of us to get to converse with the Father? But what is amazing for us New Testament Christians, is that Hebrews 10:19 tells us “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.” We can go in and chat with our Heavenly Father whenever we like. How that must make Moses happy!