Important Lessons From The Example of Moses

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July 12, 1905 Taught of God.


By Mrs. E. G. White.


     The education received by Moses in the court of Egypt, as the adopted son of the king's daughter, was very thorough. Nothing was neglected that was necessary to make him a wise man, as the Egyptians understood wisdom. But this education did not fit him to do the work to which God had appointed him. In the wilds of Midian, Moses spent forty years as a keeper of sheep. Apparently cut off forever from his life's mission, he was receiving the discipline necessary for its fulfilment. As he led his flocks through the wilds of the mountains and into the green pastures of the valleys, the God of nature gave him the highest and grandest wisdom. In the school of nature, with Christ Himself for teacher, he learned lessons of humility, meekness, faith, and trust, and daily his soul was bound closer to God. In the solitudes of the mountains he learned that which all the instruction received in the king's palace was unable to impart to him,--simple, unwavering faith and trust in the Lord. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 1}


     Prior to gaining this experience, Moses thought that his education in the wisdom of Egypt had fully qualified him to lead Israel from bondage. Had he not had the greatest advantages of the best schools in the land? Was he not learned in all things necessary for a general of armies to know? He felt that he was fully able to deliver Israel. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 2}


     Moses set about his work by trying to obtain the favor of his people by redressing their wrongs. He killed an Egyptian who was ill-treating an Israelite. In this he manifested the spirit of him who was a murderer from the beginning, and proved himself unfit to represent the God of mercy, love, and tenderness. He made a miserable failure of his first attempt. Like many another, he immediately lost confidence in God and turned, his back on his appointed work. He fled from the wrath of Pharaoh. He concluded that because of his mistake, his sin in taking the life of the Egyptian, God would not permit him to have any part in the work of delivering His people from their cruel bondage. But the Lord permitted him to make this mistake in order that He might be able to teach him the gentleness, goodness, longsuffering, that is necessary for every worker for the Lord to possess. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 3}


     A knowledge of the attributes of God's character can not be obtained by means of the highest education in the most scientific schools. From the great Teacher alone is this knowledge obtained. Only in the school of Christ are taught effectively the lessons of meekness, lowliness, and reverence for sacred things. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 4}


     Moses had been taught to expect praise and flattery, because of his superior abilities; but now he was to learn a different lesson. As a shepherd, he was taught to care for the afflicted, to seek patiently for the straying, to bear long with the unruly, to supply with loving solicitude the necessities of the young and the feeble. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 5}


     As these phases of his character were developed, he was drawn nearer to the great Shepherd. He became united to the Holy One of Israel. Through humble prayer he held communion with the Father. He looked to the Highest for an education in spiritual things and for an understanding of his duty as a faithful shepherd. So closely linked with Heaven did he become that God talked with him face to face. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 6}


     Thus prepared, Moses was ready to heed the call of God to exchange the shepherd's crook for the rod of authority; to leave his flock of sheep to take the leadership of more than a million idolatrous, rebellious people. But he was ever to depend on his invisible Leader. Even as the rod was simply an instrument in his hands, so he was to be a willing instrument in the hands of Christ. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 7}


     Faith moves forward in the strength and wisdom of God, not in human self-sufficiency. By faith Moses was enabled to press through difficulties, and to overcome obstacles which seemed almost unsurmountable. It was this implicit faith in God that made Moses what he was. According to all that the Lord had commanded, so did he. All the learning of the wise men could not make him a channel for God's working. But when he lost his self-confidence, and, realizing his helplessness, put his entire trust in God; when he was willing to obey Heaven's commands, whether they seemed to human reason proper or not, then the Lord could work mightily through him. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 8}


     By submitting to God's discipline, Moses became a channel through which the Lord could work. He did not hesitate to change his way for the Lord's way, even though it did lead him in strange, untried paths. He placed a very low estimate on his own ability to carry forward successfully the great work entrusted to him. But he did not endeavor to show the unreasonableness of God's commands, and the impossibility of obeying them. To all human appearances, he had started out in a hopeless undertaking; but he put his trust in Him with whom all things are possible, and went forward without faltering. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 9}


     The faith of Moses puts to shame the unbelief of many in our day who have had far greater opportunities for obtaining a knowledge of God than Moses had. At the command of God, Moses moved forward, though often it seemed that there was nothing ahead for his feet to tread upon. More than a million people were depending on him, and, step by step, day by day, he lead them through the wilderness. It was not the education received in Egypt that enabled Moses to triumph over his enemies, but an ever-abiding, unflinching faith, which did not fail under the most trying circumstances. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 10}


     When Moses received a command from God to do a certain thing he did it, without stopping to ask what the consequences might be. Those who refuse to move forward until they see every step plainly marked out before them, will never accomplish much; but those who have unswerving trust in the Lord, and who obey without questioning, will be successful workers. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 11}


     Today God is not seeking for men of perfect education, but for men who will honor Him by rendering implicit obedience to His requirements. There is no limit to the usefulness of those who, putting self out of sight, make room for the working of the Holy Spirit on their hearts, and live lives wholly consecrated to God, enduring the discipline imposed by the Lord without complaining or fainting by the way. God longs to reveal His salvation to the children of men; and if men and women will remove the obstructions, He will pour forth the waters of salvation in abundant streams through human channels. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 12}


     Many who are seeking efficiency for the service of God by perfecting their education in the schools of the world will find that they have failed of learning the more important lessons which the Lord would teach them. By neglecting to submit to the impressions of the Spirit, by refusing to live in obedience to God's requirements, they have weakened their spiritual efficiency and lost their ability to do successful work for the Lord. By absenting themselves from the school of Christ, they have forgotten the voice of the divine Teacher, and He cannot direct their way. Men may acquire all the knowledge that human teachers can impart, but God requires them to gain a higher wisdom than this. Like Moses, they must learn meekness, lowliness, and distrust of self. They must learn that in humanity alone there is no strength. Only by becoming partakers of the divine nature can we gain efficiency for the work of God. {ST, July 12, 1905 par. 13}