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Just as the Lord Commanded

Moses is held in very high esteem in God’s Word. God seems to single him out among the many prophets, teachers, and heroes in the Bible. In the “heroes of faith” chapter, Hebrews chapter 11, he is talked about more than any other Biblical figure.

He and Elijah are the only two Old Testament figures that meet with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Exodus 33:11 tells us that “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” The rest of creation did not have that privilege – only Moses. And in Jeremiah chapter 15, verse 1, God says “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people.” Moses seems to have had a special relationship with God.

I wondered about that – why was Moses so special? Yes, he did great things for God and God used him in a mighty way. But so did so many others – like Joseph, Samuel, David, and Isaiah. Yet Moses seems to stick out above them all.

As you read the book of Exodus, throughout the book you would see God giving detailed instructions to Moses. How to confront Pharaoh; how to lead the people out of Egypt; how to celebrate the Passover meal, how to build the Tabernacle, etc. So many details are given that, I must confess, there are times I am tempted to skip over them. Does it really matter to me now, in the 21st century, that the tabernacle had to have so many curtains of a certain size and color? But, since it is the Word of God, I read it. I am amazed at the detailed instructions God gives Moses. So many details. And, yet, we find in the very last chapter of Exodus, in verse 16, these words: “Moses did everything just as the Lord commanded him.”

Ah ha! There it is. This is the reason Moses was held in such high esteem by Almighty God: his obedience. He did EVERYTHING the Lord commanded him. He did not cut corners. He did not do somethings God’s way and other things his way. He did everything the Lord commanded him to do.

Obedience is held in very high esteem by God. He who rescued us from sin and condemnation expects us to trust Him and obey all that he has commanded us. Some people today may call that “legalism” but I call it obedience. Yes, we are saved by God’s grace through our faith and not by works – I am not saying obedience saves you. But God loves when his children are obedient and do all that He commands them to do. Remember the parable Jesus told of the two sons? Which one was commended? The one who did what the father asked him.

There were some people in the early church in Corinth that took the “freedom” we have in Christ a little too far. They would say “everything is permissible for me” because Christ paid for our sins. But Paul reminded them, “not everything is beneficial.” God has given us commands and guidelines to follow for our benefit, to save us hardships and pain. Let’s follow His instructions as Moses did and do all that He commands us to do. When you do that, don’t be surprised when God pours out more of His favor upon you.

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