Moses and Character
Please read the scripture from the weekend: Exodus 2:1-10 & Deuteronomy 34:1-12.
As we wrap up our worship series and study in the book of Exodus, it was fitting to listen to the last message on a reflection of Moses, his leadership, and his unshakable faith in God’s presence. Moses was a key player in leading the Hebrews through some turbulent trials with an unknown future ahead of them.
What impresses me about Moses is how his character continued to grow and change. Early on in his life, Moses had an uncontrollable temper that led to the killing of an Egyptian and a lack of self-confidence that gave him a complaint to cry to God because of a speech impediment.
He also dealt with the day-to-day constant grumbling of the Hebrew people. However, Moses talked with God and began to learn how to dwell and live with God. Moses was willing to step out into the unfamiliar presence of God’s very existence.
I believe we are only getting a small glimpse of the personal depth and being of Moses as it is told in Exodus and Deuteronomy. We can see a timeline of transformation in Moses’ personality as he went from a timid skeptic to a confident servant. We read later that Moses’ character at the time of death was likened to an old man full of vigor that had not abated or fallen (Deuteronomy 34:7).
The ultimate compliment for a life-with-God that has been well-lived can be described as a person who was, “full of vigor that had not abated.”
As followers of Jesus, it is imperative that we read and study the people we are learning about in the scriptures. Sometimes it’s good to put our Bible down for a moment and just meditate on who the human is in this story and how God shaped their character.
In my own spiritual growth, I have found it beneficial to identify two or three people in my life that I can analyze and trust to have character that is being shaped and formed into the likeness of Jesus. These are people I trust to speak into the depths of my heart while also providing a window for me to see into their own souls. I have found that identifying people who possess a Christ-like character isn’t easy, but God does provide the “legends” or modelers and practitioners of his “way” if we look for it.
In light of the culture we find ourselves in today where celebrities are experts in social justice and business executives are now dubbed as “godly politicians,” I find both as well as most of those who identify as Christians to be extremely lousy practitioners of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When it comes to character, these are the most underwhelming people of them all.
This brings to mind Dallas Willard’s quote from The Divine Conspiracy. An insight that is as relevant today as it was when published in 1998…
“We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than the one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.”
May we as Lutheran Christ-followers “roll up our sleeves” in the realm of character development and take up the quest of personal character development in our own lives and be stewards of our time and discipleship to share with those around us so that we can all. . .
And share abundantly.
Written by Matt Clay
Matt and his wife Joanna have two young daughters, Emery and Madisen. The Clay’s have been members of the Sheridan community since 2014. Matt’s spiritual growth has been influenced by the teaching of the late Dallas Willard, which led Matt to pursue an M.A. in Spiritual Formation from Spring Arbor University. Matt works full-time in the financial industry and believes that God has called him to be a steward of His grace and presence in the marketplace.