Last week, I started a look at the prophecies of Messiah leading up to His birth which most of us celebrate at Christmas. Today I go slightly out of order to Deut. 18, where Moses describes what God told him on the subject:
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, 16 according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’
17 “And the LORD said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 18 I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
Okay, so this tells us that we will find similarities to Jesus in His servant Moses- a subject I have brought up before, so I'm only going to hit some very specific things here. But first, some of you might say, "Moses was a prophet? Jesus was a prophet? I thought prophets were the guys that sat around and predicted the future?" Not so fast, my friend. The word "prophet" means "someone inspired by God". And as you see, the phrase in v 17 "(I) will put My words in His mouth" covers that.
What I do want to look at are 4 similarities between the ministries of Moses and Jesus. First, just as Jesus died and returned resurrected on the third day, Moses was seemingly dead- he'd been MIA for 40 years- when he returned with his message. Concurrently, just as Jesus was betrayed by His own people, so was Moses:
12 So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, “Why are you striking your companion?”
14 Then he said, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
So Moses feared and said, “Surely this thing is known!” (Exodus 2:12-14)
And if no one else was around when he did it, that means it was a Hebrew who spread the rumor.
Second, Moses, like Jesus, had two main messages. Moses had one for the Hebrews, (Rise up, leave Egypt, follow God to a land of milk and honey) and one for Pharaoh (Let my people go). Jesus, also, had two ministries- leading the people to repentance and salvation and breaking Satan's hold on us.
But like them, we have these things that, in our minds, hold us back. We have the unwillingness to let go of what we see as the pleasures of this life (3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”, Ex. 16:3); the fear of what serving God entails (30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”, Num: 13:30-1); and the desire to "do it ourselves" (42 Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. 43 For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.”
44 But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop. Nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. 45 Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah., Num. 14:42-45).
Third, They both plead for us. When God was desirous of destroying Israel for their sin, Moses stood up for them (Ex. 32:11-14), just as Jesus does before the Father (Matt. 10:32-3).
And a sad fourth, we have trouble waiting on them both. When Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days and nights (Ex. 32 again), the people declared him lost, urged their priest to "create a God they could see", one that would guarantee them the pleasures of life (1 Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
2 And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf.
Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5 So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.” 6 Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Note here the word "play", which translates to laughing out loud, making sport... MOCKING. And note more importantly that we have no idea when in the process that the people began this slide in to outright disobedience. Those that like to play with numbers to prove "when Jesus is returning" , pay attention here. One thing I've never heard in all their misuse of "one day is as a thousand years to God" is that if Moses "delayed" 40 days on the mountain, then by that logic it might still be another 38 THOUSAND YEARS before Christ returns! (Do I believe it will be that long? Of course not. What I do believe is that Jesus has a LOT of wiggle room.)
To demonstrate that point, let's go to the Messianic prophecy that chronologically comes second... the one inspired by God in the pagan prophet Balaam:
17“I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.[b]
18“And Edom shall be a possession;
Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession,
While Israel does valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob One shall have dominion,
And destroy the remains of the city.”
That was spoken around 3700 years ago. 2000 years ago, we were told that the time was fast approaching. The trick is not in knowing when He returns- but to be waiting, not PLAYING, when He does.