I have to tell you, my Bible Study Fellowship study on the Life of Moses is absolutely phenomenal! In August when I considered the prospect of spending a year in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, I can't say that I was filled with excited anticipation. I know the whole counsel of God is for my growth in my faith so I was glad to have a structured study to keep me focused.
Now that I have spent 6 months studying, I am thinking this is one of the best studies ever! No where in scripture is there a clearer picture of the Holiness of God and man's utter sinful state than in wanderings of the Israelite nation. No where else do we see how God cares for his people not because they are well behaved or are model people, but because they are his. His care for the Israelites and for us is a reflection on Him. He does it out of love for us and that the world may see his glory revealed because he started with a people who were utterly helpless without him and He did great things in their lives where all could see.
In Sunday School (a different study) we are studying apologetics and how do we help people know that Jesus is a savior for them too. I am thinking that the Life of Moses is the best way to show them how we have a faithful and holy God who cares for his people. Time and time again God did wonderful things to provide for his people. You would think that the Israelites would have learned their lesson that there was no nation too strong for them + God. You would think that when they were hungry and thirsty they would have looked to the same God that had provided for them the last time, but each time, they showed how faithless they really were. No where in scripture do we see a clearer picture of our need for salvation and our utter inability to do anything to accomplish our own salvation.
We see over and over again that every deliverance is all God. We see over and over again that God requires our obedience and does not abide rebellion. We see his forgiveness and how even when we fail him, he is merciful. We like the Israelites need deliverance (sometimes from our own foolishness). We Christians, like the Israelites have enjoyed the salvation, love, forgiveness and mercy of God. We Christians, like the Israelites are called to be a holy people with an allegience only to God alone. We Christians recognize that we cannot affect our own salvation no matter how many sacrifices we offer. Our sin is deeper than that and only God can make us reconciled with him.
Just as the Israelites were given a sacrificial system to atone for sin and to be given a clean slate, God provided his only son Jesus Christ to put an end to the sacrificial system and to deliver us from the penalty of sin. If there was any other way, Jesus' payment for us was pointless.
We are so much like the Israelites it is scary, but just as the Israelites were fed in the desert and guided to the promised land, so God does the same for us. My soul is full because of the rich lessons that are found in the Life of Moses. What greater assurance of our faith to know that we have a God who is able to see us through all adversity and while he could change hearts and keep us out of battle, he doesn't. In the battle his salvation is made known to those who don't know him and our faith is strengthened as we cling to him in the harshness of life!