Everything I know about hermeneutics I have learned from being in a bible study with like-minded men using as a tool Walt Henrichsen and Gayle Jackson’s book: Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (the “SIAB”). Our group started 27 years ago with six men and next month we will begin a one and half year study of Romans with hopefully a couple dozen men. In the SIAB there is a process for doing Biographical studies (Ch. 6 SIAB). We studied Abraham, Moses and David using the SIAB methodology. This article is merely a summary of my notes for Steps 4-7 on the life Moses.
Step 4- Strengths and Weaknesses
Weaknesses- Could be impulsive (Ex. 2:12), married outside his tribe (Ex. 2:21), failed to circumcise his sons as commanded by God (Ex. 4:24-26), has some self-esteem issues (Ex Ch. 3 and 4), has some pride issues (Num. 20), at times took on too much responsibility (Ex. 18).
Strengths- Greatest prophet whom the Lord knew face to face (Deut. 34:10), great faith (Heb. 11:23-29), an intermediary between God and men, a friend of God who knew His ways not just His deeds (Psalm 103:7), leader of a nation, stood up to Pharaoh, a judge, a great writer, a historian with attention to detail, God’s chosen man for giving the Law and forming a nation.
Thought for consideration: In the storied and amazing life of Moses, when did he exhibit the greatest exercise of his faith? (Caution to self- no right or wrong answer).
Step 5- Key Verses
Numbers Chapter 16 whole chapter, read verses 1-5, 28, 31-33.
Observation 1- Moses evidences complete trust in God, HIs sovereignty and goodness, to determine the destiny of the nation as well as his own leadership. After all that has happened to Israel and between God and Moses personally, he comes to this moment in the wilderness where an open rebellion against his authority as well as his standing as a prophet of God are all on the line. His response: Let God decide.
Observation 2- Its one thing to turn to God when the odds are not in your favor (e.g. going up against Pharaoh with 2 other people, backed up to the Red Sea pursued by the worlds greatest army, dying of hunger and thirst in the Wilderness, or personally when my 17 year daughter was dying and the doctors said her chances were one in a million to survive the week), but it is quite another thing to trust, turn to God, rely on Him and His truths and promises when you have perceived other options at hand, especially if you think you have the upper hand in the circumstances. Based on Numbers 1:46 and 16:49 the math tells me Moses had about a 98 to 1 advantage over the rebels. Why did he not just crush them like the bugs they seem to have been?
Step 6- Key Thought
Somewhere between killing an Egyptian with his bare hand’s justice and escaping to the back side of the Sinai desert as a young man (Ex. 2) to Korah’s rebellion at around age 80 Moses has learned to let God decide justice and to surrender his will, position, power, personal desires and options to God alone.
Step 7- Applications
From the verses and key thoughts above, I ask myself 3 questions and take note of a warning:
- Will I trust God when I’m not (think I’m not) desperate?
- Will I submit my will to God’s will when I have (think I have) options, by obeying all the commands that apply to me?
- In honestly evaluating my own growth, do I trust God more today then when I put my eternal security in Jesus 28 years ago?
WARNING: 4 chapters later following Korah’s rebellion, Moses blows it at the Waters of Meribah by striking the rock twice instead of speaking to it (Num. 20:8-13). Pride comes right before the fall Prov. 16:18 and temptation might follow church discipline Gal. 6:1.