God employs one chapter in our Bible, Exodus 2, to tell us about the first 80 years of the life of Moses. He then, however, requires 135 chapters to record the events of the last 40 years of Moses’ life. It all seems so unbalanced but the imbalance is only on the surface.
In Deuteronomy 34, at the end of his life, we see the kind of man divine wisdom produced. And what a man of God we are privileged to view.
“His eye was not dim, nor his natural force (moisture, Newberrymargin) abated” (Deut 34:7). Here was a man who knew God “face to face” (v10) as no one else did. Few men ever came through the school of God and graduated with such honors! God took a reluctant redeemer who listed excuse after excuse (Exo 3, 4) and made him into the greatest leader the world has ever known. He took a man who cowered before Pharaoh (Exo 2) and converted him into a fearless witness before Egypt, and then to the nation of Israel. God is an expert craftsman! God knows how to shape His vessels.
But this editorial is not about Moses. It is about the God of Moses. The God Who patiently, and painstakingly, works with each one of us. Perhaps it will call out the “cliché police” to say that each of us is “a work in progress.” Yet, the truth is evident whenever we see God taking up a man for a work.
As it was with Moses, Elijah, Jonah, Jeremiah, and a host of others, the work of God in the man is always more important than the work of God through the man. Skillfully fashioning the vessel, whether to understand more fully the heart of God, to display more faithfully the character of God, or to portray more accurately the Christ of God, He works in each life for His own purpose.
The conclusion is both encouraging and humbling: God is more concerned with who I am than with what I do. Character always trumps capability! It is instinctive and almost automatic – and a good thing as well – that a newborn believer asks, as did Paul, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” But it is possible to run ahead of God, as did Moses. God was intent on His work in the man before the man did the work. God’s chief interest in you and in me is in the transforming work which His Spirit is doing within us. Before trying to find the right work for God, we need to yield ourselves to God that He might work in us.
Thus, the delays and disappointments, the failure and frustration, the criticism and the callousness – things which we view as impediments to progress, are actually all ingredients which God employs to accomplish His work in us. How thankful we can be that nothing will hinder His work; He will ultimately bring us into conformity to His Son.