Moses as a prophet: The great burden he carried

The political conditions of Moses’ day were that the Land of Egypt produced a perfect background for this giant of a man, that during this time, the first great wave of anti-Semitism rolled through Israel. It is theorized that Exodus took place between 1290-1220 BC, which would be during the Judges era. (Other source notes it could have been earlier, such as 1446 BC around the time of the first Passover. That would place it before the Judges era starting in 1350 BC.) Rameses II has the most potential distinction of being Pharaoh of this oppression, and if that is the case, then the first date would be more plausible, because Rameses II ruled (1304-1237 BC). This is one area of archaeological evidence we wish to have, especially to prove to skeptics that the Biblical exodus actually happened.

The discussion on this matter was that because of the activities Rameses commonly imposed, it seems Exodus 13:17 refers to techniques commonly used by Rameses at this time, and it seemed to work best because of the sea peoples invasion per evidence, because in that verse, the trade/coastal routes were being used to commit justice by the Pharaoh’s hand (see “the way of the land of the Philistines” in 13:17). Thutmose III, a figure some thought over the Exodus has less evidence, because Thutmose created the largest Egyptian empire, but the Scripture does not allude to this fact, which would have been particularly prominent despite the inference. However, since the book of Exodus does not mention the Pharaoh’s names, we can efficiently decide which plausible evidence is most clear. Some of the other things to consider was that Moses was allowed to be taught about Yahweh, which means the ruler was unlikely to be tyrannical, at least toward religious freedom.

The social conditions of Moses’ day involved being born in the midst of a slave community, to which men did mandatory hard labor, family life continued even in oppression, and the Israelites overall lived as best as they could with some likeness of their early Fathers’ religion and reared their children as they had been raised. In the Egyptian court, luxury and ease would prevail, as it was an age of prosperity and albeit plenty in resources for them – while just a few short steps away, poverty and slavery was going on for God’s children.

Slave labor built huge structures to relieve the Egyptians of the stress of toil. Slaves would build great libraries and schools so the nobility could be equipped and supplied with more resources – and the Israelites meanwhile were still oppressed. Moses had a sample of both situations and knew of such misery, as he yearned of his own people. The finest educational system of their world gave him its best, and those 40 years in Egypt left an indelible mark upon Moses.

As for the religious conditions of Moses’ day, things were quite odd. We must believe that in the homes of the slaves in Egypt that some pious souls kept alive the fundamentals of the “old Faith of their Fathers.” When Moses began teaching about Yahweh, he found that they had a basis of the truth that he taught. However, people seemed ignorant of the deeper characteristics of God.

Among the Egyptians, there was an elaborate system of religious beliefs and observances, for religion was a big part of their life. Their temples were large and extravagantly furnished. They served many gods and vied with one another for the gifts of the multitudes who crowded the sanctuaries. Priests, ceremonies, and religious displays met the eye, and it was the golden age of Egyptian religion. Moses must have been a close student of all that passed before him.

Moses’ life is generally divided into three periods of 40 years:

  1. In Egypt for 40 years – Moses was born to godly parents, and was adopted into the family of Pharaoh. Being educated in all the arts and sciences of the Egyptian schools, he chose to attach himself to his own people, and was then forced to flee to save his own life.
  2. In the Wilderness for 40 years – Moses gained a wife, a home, and was then subjected to severe discipline in the desert. He learned firsthand about the land that he would one day lead his people through. After that, an important event occurred when God called him to go back to Egypt and begin his life’s work along with his brother Aaron.
  3. Leading the people through the Wilderness for 40 years – Moses obeyed God and rescued the Israelites from Egypt, saw God’s deliverance at the Red Sea, received the “Torah” at Sinai, taught and trained the people, lost his patience, and then fell into sin. Moses had repented and then preached in the plains of Moab – to which, he was then taken home to God without entering the Promised Land.

Personality

Moses was a powerful man physically, mentally, and spiritually. He had an ability to excite attention and admiration of all who looked upon him. Yet, he felt he needed Aaron, because he felt his speech was not adequate. He was known for such a vigorous social passion, to which is evidence through his life. He was unselfish in his leadership, for the Israelites consumed his life. He was so passionate in his devotion to Yahweh, to which he had a powerful faith in the Divine Plan of God. He was filled with righteous indignation and spiritual intensity, and this marks him as a true leader of men. Lastly, like the other prophets, he felt a pressure of the Hand of God – and his whole life was influenced by this awareness/consciousness – which brought him face-to-face with God.

Moses’ Theology

Moses had a theology of “God’s Will” – to which, excelled beyond most men, because he comprehended that “God is a God with a purpose.” God has a Will for Man, has a Will for the world, and especially a remarkable Will for Israel. Moses believed that God’s Will unfolded moment-by-moment and developed his character with each passing day. Moses believed that God was a being of moral character with ethical standards, and believed that He wanted His People to mirror His ethical nature. He knew God had a distinct personality, and Moses represented Yahweh as respecting human personality. He felt God’s compassion as He cared for His People – whether they were in slavery, bondage, in the Wilderness, etc. He was so faithful as to deliver them from bondage and lead them tenderly across the Wilderness. He was even so good as to teach them through the prophets, and loved them with an undying love. Moses knew God was a “covenant-keeping God” who had the right to expect His own chosen ones to keep their part of the covenant.

Miriam and Aaron were siblings of Moses. While Miriam normally didn’t speak, Aaron was especially true to his brother by helping him accomplish God’s Will, especially going with Moses to convince Pharaoh to release God’s People from bondage. They both undoubtedly stuck close to Moses for a good portion of his life.

Burning Bush

In Chapter three of Exodus, we see many things that Moses was involved. Moses kept the flock of Jethro, who was his father-in-law, a priest in the land of Midian. He kept the flock on the backside of the desert and near the Mountain of God, near Horeb. He did not know that he would lead millions of people through this Wilderness in the very area of the Mountain of God. In 3:2, he was called by God in the burning bush experience, and was told that God had seen the oppression of the Egyptians. He heard their cry and came to deliver them. God sent Moses then to go to Pharaoh to speak on His behalf to free the people. God gave him methods of doing so, with a promised consequence to Pharaoh for reluctance. Moses responded and went with Aaron to do so!

Overall

The roots of divine sovereignty, divine holiness, and divine love were foundational stones to which the Prophets reared the Temple of Faith – the pinnacle of which was Jesus of Nazareth! Moses contained such attributes, which would inspire future fathers to model a temple to support worship unto God, and if Moses was able to model this for Man and have them pass it down through the generations, that’s greatly awesome and wonderful to witness.

Moses in comparison to Jesus Christ

MosesJesus Christ
The prayer of Moses healed Miriam of Leprosy (Numbers 12:10-13).Jesus cleansed a leper (Matthew 8:2-3).
Children were killed by Pharaoh during the birth of Moses (Exodus 1:22).Children were killed by King Herod in Bethlehem during Jesus’ Birth (Matthew 2:16).
God promised a prophet like Moses would be raised up (Deuteronomy 18:15).Jesus is the prophet of promise from God, but definitely greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:1-6).
As the voice of God sounded, a cloud overshadowed Moses, Aaron, and Miriam (Numbers 12:5-8).As God’s Voice sounded, a cloud had overshadowed Peter, James, and John while they were with Jesus (Matthew 17:1-5).
Divided the red sea to get across.Walked on the water to transcend.
Moses was to flee his birthplace because of Pharaoh’s persecution (Exodus 2:15).Jesus and family fled their native land because Herod was persecuting people (Matthew 2:14).
Moses was able to return to his birthplace after Pharaoh died (Exodus 4:19).Jesus was able to return to His birthplace after Herod had died (Matthew 2:20-21).
Moses prayed over the miracle of Manna and Quails (Exodus 16:1; Numbers 11:31).Jesus performed the miracle of loaves and fish two times (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39).
Moses led Israel to the Promised Land (even though Moses could not cross the border because he sinned)(Numbers 20:1-13).Jesus Christ fully obeyed God and brought people into Paradise (Luke 23:43).
Moses chose 12 messengers – one from each Tribe. Hoshea is renamed Joshua, one of Moses’ closest associates (Numbers 13:2-16).Jesus chose 12 disciples (later known as apostles) who would judge Israel’s 12 Tribes. Simon is renamed Peter, one of Jesus’ closest associates (Matthew 16:17-19; Mark 3:16-17).
Moses was on the mountain of blessing to receive the Commandments (Exodus 19:20; Deuteronomy 6:5-25).Jesus was on the mount as He gave the Beatitudes sermon and His Commandments (law of love)(Matthew 5:1-12).

Why Jesus Christ is God | Bible verses

There are many religions, cults, and other organizations (including books and other media) that say that Jesus Christ is not God, but they do not provide enough credible evidence. Apparently, about 30% of US Christian people say that Jesus is not God. However, we can, as Christians, prove that Jesus Christ is God, and the Bible along with historical/archaeological finds can help.

Jesus Christ is the Word and created the earth:

John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 – And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 10:30 – I and my Father are one.

John 20:28 – And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (This references back to when God first said that He is called “I AM” in Exodus 3:14.

Jesus was to come upon the earth as an inhabitant inside of a man vessel, but still be fully God:

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Other info:

Acts 20:28 – Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:1 – Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:8 – But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Jesus receives worship in the following verses, but did not tell anyone not to worship Him: Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38

If He were not God, the sacrifice for sins would not be possible (1 John 2:2). Only God could take on the sins of the entire world (2 Corinthians 5:21).

James believed in a real relationship with God | James commentary

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote his letter around 60 A.D. or earlier, which aims to encourage Jewish believers outside of Jerusalem (“the tribes scattered abroad”), especially those who have suffered through persecution, as well as to provide instruction so they can work out their faith in righteousness and godly living. Therefore, James wants believers to view trials as an opportunity for spiritual growth. James provides practical wisdom for the Christian life, and shows how we can do well unto others.

Now, James starts out introducing himself as a servant of God and Jesus, and gives his first encouragement in the next verse to “count it all joy when ye fall in divers temptations,” and then, “…the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Believers should have a right relationship with God – one that bears fruit and that is full of love. Then, we learn that if one lacks wisdom – to ask of God – and God will give it. In addition, those believers should ask in faith without doubt, and that “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Next, James talks about temptation. For starters, temptation is not of God, but that man “is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” When lust occurs and is conceived, it brings forth sin. Moreover, when sin finishes, it brings forth death. James also teaches that every good and perfect gift is from the Father, who gives us the Word of Truth so believers are made first fruits. James moves on in his instruction that believers should be quick to listen and slow to speak (as the proverb instructs). In addition, those believers should be doers of the Word, not just hearers.

In chapter 2, James goes on to talk about faith. For those that say they have faith, but do not have works – then the faith is dead. Therefore, there is no evidence of devotion to Christ, if you do not have faith with works. True faith must be able to be endured. By works, a man is justified. Therefore, faith is true when works evidence it. Then, James talks about the tongue and how it can get believers in trouble and cause strife and confusion. Now, James warns about a slew of problems that believers can face. One of them is greed, which is stated as lusts. Lust is equivalent to a strong desire, so this type of greed is more about general lusts, not just money or sexual desires.

Another problem he warns about is being friends with the world. Instead, believers should draw nigh to God, cleanse their hands, purify their hearts, and humble themselves before God. Next, he warns about speaking evil (slander), before talking about depending only on God. Finally, he warns against rich men, whose riches are corrupted. Also, that those who are rich have a lustful attitude, and don’t use it for the glory of God or to help people. They just live in pleasure. James moves on to give them final encouragement and instructions. He tells the believers to have patience when they suffer in persecution, to pray for the sick and afflicted with the prayer of faith. Lastly, James states if anyone errs, then believers should do what they can to turn the erred person back to God.

James encompasses a perspective that believers should be wholly focused on God, without lust and confusion. People should follow God’s direction by depending on Him and walking in faith. If people do this, they can begin to do His Will for their lives.

Lessons from James and other facts

Two of the Apostles had the name, James. The less known one was James the son of Alphaeus (as we see in Matthew 10:3, “Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus.”). Then, the other Apostle James was the elder brother of the Apostle John (as we see in Matthew 10:2, “Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother.”).

Next, there was James the brother of Jesus. This man was not an Apostle, but rather, he called himself a servant of God, as we see in his book, the Book of James. His relation with Jesus is obvious in Matthew 13:55-56, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” This is also proof that Mary and Joseph had relations after Jesus was birthed, to produce more sons and daughters. However, Jesus was Mary’s first son, as we see in Matthew 1:18, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” 1:20, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” 1:25, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” In addition to note: Isaiah had prophesied this birth, and spoke that it would be a virgin who would birth the Messiah in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The apostle James was humbling himself in Scripture, because he said that he is a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ – which is acknowledging that his own brother is of highest regard to him. To acknowledge himself as only a servant, and not the brother of Jesus Christ (even though he is) was a very humble move, because he could have used that “fame” to promote himself, but clearly chose not. There is no other info on him, either, which means that he was truly a humble servant at heart, hoping to relay the things of God!

Instead of teaching only the Law of Moses, the Scribes and Pharisees added a bunch of laws of their own. They seemed to have wanted to make a display of their religious devotion by wearing decorations large on their “long clothing” of God’s Law written on them. It seemed that they also wanted to be recognized and quickly took the most important seats, “the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts.” They would also try to appear even more religious with their long prayers, but yet, they took advantage of and oppressed the poor, “devour widows’ houses.” They will be in greater damnation, however. They seemed to focus on the minor details of the law, but ignored the most important teachings of it. Jesus had to have known that they were going about it all wrong.

What does James have to say about all this? Well, they fail his test of genuine faith badly, as we see in James 1:26-27, for he says, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” People are instructed to: 1. Have a bridled tongue, 2. Visit the fatherless and widows, and 3. Keep self unspotted from the world. The Scribes and Pharisees noted in Mark 12:38-40 go around speaking loudly with salutations, refuse to visit the widows (they take advantage of the poor), and they try to make themselves appear important by wearing long clothing with lots of writing of God’s Law, getting the best seat in the house, and praying loudly to get people to notice how “holy” they are. All of these things the Scribes and Pharisees do, Jesus did not like. Truly religious people are those who control their speech, and express their own faith in acts of kindness.

James warns his readers and the people that they shouldn’t be too hasty in being teachers, because if they instruct others and fail themselves, they will receive greater judgment – which places teachers in danger, because they can’t avoid such mistakes. However, if a person can control their tongue, they can control their whole self, and be able to teach well without envying and strife.

In Luke 12:48, we see that all are guilty of wrongdoing and will be punished, but the one who had more knowledge of his master’s will (God’s Will) will be punished more severely. Everyone shall be accountable to God, and He expects more of those who have more knowledge.

David would acknowledge his sin to God, and confess. He then had the assurance of forgiveness from God. He also prays that troubles would not come nigh unto him, and he is assured of the Lord’s safekeeping. David says to trust in the Lord, for many sorrows shall come, but He will lead us to rejoicing. James teaches that if you have committed sins, you shall be forgiven – just as David prayed and confessed his sins, he was forgiven. If you pray for others’ suffering, your prayer will avail, for the prayer shall save the sick and the Lord will raise him up.

It seems that James had a gift of love and teaching, that he could minister out of a servant heart, and therefore, do God’s Will. Christians were so devoted to the Law, that James wanted to unbind them and bring them to the truth of God’s grace and love, so they realize that love is the fulfilling of the Law. Loving your enemies is very important, as Jesus taught, and James was major teacher in this.

Through his teachings, James radically taught to love your enemies, and that includes being careful not to judge others, sticking to God’s Will, praying for others, and keep up the faith so it changes the thinking and behavior. Christians should live positively for God, even in an ungodly society, and be able to do His Will; sacrificing their own desires. James was so devoted to encouraging others in their trials and difficulties that God is with them and answering their prayers, that we can learn to put our faith into practice instead of going through the motions, to avoid worldly ambitions and to focus on God’s desires, and then a call to be patient and to pray.

James emphasizes what daily Christianity should look like, and that’s why many have called this a manual for Christians, because it packs so much wisdom into concise statements, and is catered to the early Christians who needed to learn how to be more Christlike and get away from the Law. He appears to talk a lot about OT wisdom, prophets, and other truths in the OT – but then, he bathes them in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teachings to show people what was old, and that it has now become new.

The measure of a true Christian is by expressing love through everything that they do, and showing people, that God is real by setting an example. James advocated and demonstrated an example of love, and even poured out other examples to show us that love is the only way that works, and that is what Jesus has been saying all along.

Many people miss what Jesus has been saying all along, because they’re too focused on the OT teachings and worried about the wrath of God, instead of looking upon Jesus, who told us that we fulfill the Law through the Great Commandment. It is because of Him that we have peace, joy, love, and righteousness. These are all parts of the Kingdom of God, and we have inherited them because of the work of Christ. He reasonably provided a way for us to enter into the Kingdom of God, even though that we are imperfect.

James, Paul, and Peter were just a few of the many that have tried to pry new Christians away from the Jewish ways, and other blasphemies of God – and help transform them into new creatures in Christ. That is, ones that become lovers of God and of men, and actually serve from a genuine heart; putting faith into practice. What a marvelous revelation of His love, just through the Book of James. James pressed that people would pry their minds out of the world’s desires, and focus only on God’s desires and Will, because it is best. God’s Will is Jesus, and Jesus is the truest expression of love, no doubt about it!