We have been sharing about our relationship with God.
🤔Can there be a more intimate relationship?
What prevents us from being His friend (like Abraham) Moses’ position of favor with God is evident in the fact that “the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” Exodus 33:11. To seeking His wisdom (like Solomon)
And Solomon asked God in a dream “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equalamong kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
1 Kings 3:9-14
You too can share intimacy with God by using all your heart, mind, soul and strength to serve The Creatorof all seen and unseen.
Most notably, these were individuals/Mortals like us! If The Creator of Man speaks, it is!!! No one ever saw the body of Moses!
So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.—Deuteronomy 34:5-6.
The more carefully we study the Old Testament, the more we shall be convinced that it contains a development of truth, not merely by spoken revelations, but through events and incidents divinely arranged, and made the subjects of thought to those ancient believers, under the teaching of God’s Spirit. These incidents are planted like seeds in the popular heart, and grow up slowly into leaf and flower in recognized doctrines. This was Christ’s own method of instruction in His miracles and parables, and we may expect to find it in the Divine history throughout. No one can close the Old Testament and open the New without seeing that, during the interval, immense progress had been made in the unfolding of religious truth. The expectation of a Redeemer and a redemption had become clear and concentrated, and the belief in an eternal life, and in the resurrection, was held by many. There is, we believe, no satisfactory way of accounting for this but by the work of God’s own Spirit, in the heart of thoughtful men, using for His instrument the revelation which had already been given. Let us take the account of the death and burial of Moses, and seek to show how it was fitted to be such a source of fruitful reflection to the Old Testament Church.
The text is in three parts—
I. The death of Moses was at God’s command: “So Moses died according to the word of the Lord.”
II. His death took place before Israel entered the land of promise: “Moses died there in the land of Moab.”
III. He was buried by God and his sepulchre is unknown: “He buried him in the valley, but no man knoweth of his sepulchre.”
Death at the Command of God
“So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.” The Hebrew is “according to the mouth of Jehovah”; the meaning is “according to the command of Jehovah.” The same expression is translated in the case of Aaron’s death “at the commandment of the Lord” (Numbers 33:38).
Mouth in the sense of command is a common Hebrew idiom; nevertheless the Jews understood it here literally, and from the paraphrase in the Targum arose the Rabbinic legend that Moses died by the kiss of God.
i. The Common Destiny
We live to die. When or where, it is vain to inquire; but that we must pass through the gates of death, no room is left for us to doubt. It is the common lot. Death is life’s shadow. It is not coeval with life, but it is coexistent with it. Wherever you find the one in this world of ours, you find the other. There is not a tree that grows, not a bird that sings, not a flower that blooms, not a child that laughs, not a man that toils, not anything that lives, but is destined to die. So Moses, the servant of the Lord died.
There is no pause in the succession. “One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever,”—that is, throughout these successive generations of men. It abides, but they are gone. The mount from whose flaming summit the voice of God came forth still looks down upon the depths around it, and the dreary wilderness beyond it; but Moses, the tribes, and the tents of Israel have disappeared. The Sea of Tiberias still lies embedded, bright and blue, amid the hills of Galilee; but the men who crowded its shores to listen to the voice of One who spake as never man spake are nowhere to be found—all are “gathered to their fathers.”
I quote this for good reason. The body of Moses was never seen by any! Where he ‘met his end’ is known, a friend of God. Stubborn though! Not to backtrack too far; a murderer (the guard in Egypt), a Man who did not follow tradition (spiritual law)!
There have been numerous commentaries on the confusing passage in Exodus: At a night encampment [literally, “lodging-place”] on the way, the Lord encountered him [Moses] and sought to kill him. So Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin, and touched his legs with it, saying ‘You are truly a bridegroom of blood to me!’ And when He let him alone, she added, ‘A bridegroom of blood because of the circumcision’ (Ex. 4:24-26).
This passage is made particularly obscure because of the extensive use of pronouns throughout. It is clear, however, that a son of Moses was not circumcised. Why did Moses not circumcise the infant?
In the Talmud (TB Nedarim 32a), R. Yose explains that Moses delayed circumcising his youngest son, because doing so would force him to postpone his mission to Egypt by three days while the baby recovered. This was a valid concern. However, Moses took care of the lodging arrangements on the way before attending to his son’s circumcision, and that is what angered God. This explanation, quoted by Rashi in his commentary, has become the standard traditional approach.
I would like to suggest another explanation as to why Moses did not circumcise his son. While it may seem unusual to read that Zipporah performed a ritual circumcision, this was in biblical times a widespread practice among West Semitic peoples (Israelites, Edomites, Ammonites), though not among the East Semitic peoples (Assyrians, Babylonians). That Zipporah was familiar with circumcision was therefore by no means unusual.
“The practice was … prevalent in Egypt” we are told. 2 Jeremiah states: Lo, days are coming–declares the Lord–when I will take note of everyone circumcised in the foreskin; of Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab (Jer. 9:2425). Note that the Egyptians appear first in this list. Similarly, when Ezekiel speaks against Pharaoh, he tells of his bitter end: And you too shall be brought down … to the lowest part of the netherworld; you shall lie among the uncircumcised (Ezek. 31:18). This indicates that not being circumcised was, for the Egyptians, a disgrace. Egyptian circumcision dates back to at least 2400 BCE and was usually confined to the priesthood or the royal family. Its association with the Egyptians was also noted by Herodotus, who mentions “the obvious antiquity of the custom in Egypt” and the fact that “other peoples learned the practice through their contact with Egypt” (Historiae, 2:104). Accordingly, there is a strong connection between Egypt and circumcision.
We can now understand why Moses would decide not to circumcise his son. When he fled to Midian, Moses repudiated his Egyptian upbringing. It is reasonable to assume that Moses consciously rejected circumcision as an ancient Egyptian rite, the first of the Egyptians’ practices which the Israelites would have to renounce. He decided to abandon this ritual, starting with Gershom, his own firstborn son.
The concept of abandoning Egyptian circumcision may appear in Joshua 5:2, where God commands Joshua to make flint knives and proceed with a second [shenit] circumcision of the Israelites.
To address our key point is that there were Laws which Moses did not follow, yet he was a ‘companion’ of The Lord! Are you? Can you be?
In answer to the second question. Yes! Definitely yes. Conditions though!
One of my favorite songs in the hymnal is “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” Without reservation, we readily admit that Jesus is a friend to us! But have you ever seriously considered what it means to be a friend to Him?
You might be surprised to know that the Bible provides examples and specific principles to help us understand exactly how to be a friend of God.
1. A friend of God is one who values His presence above all else.
Moses had spent the last forty days alone with God. While there he had received both the law and the rules of worship from God. Imagine his dismay when, upon his return to the camp, he found the people engaged in idolatrous worship and licentious behavior! In fact, were it not for the intercession of Moses, God would have destroyed His people right there in the wilderness.
As it turned out, the Lord refused to lead them any further by His presence. From now on He would merely use an angel to direct their journey.
But Moses refused to accept such a proposition. If the Lord did not travel with them, Moses was staying put! (See Exodus 33:15.) In fact, the conversation Moses shared with the Lord revealed Moses’ supreme desire to know God intimately.
And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.—Exodus 33:11
More than he wanted the Promised Land with all its prospects of stability and fruitfulness, Moses wanted the presence of Almighty God.
Friends of God are they who prioritize their relationship with Him, not allowing the work of God ever to replace the God of the work in their devotion.
2. A friend of God will live a life of faith.
At the foundation of every healthy relationship is trust. Perhaps the greatest expression of my friendship with you is that I trust you no matter what.
Abraham is best noted for his faith in God; in fact, he has been called, “The Father of Faith.”
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.—James 2:23
Never forget that it is faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Abraham believed that God would make of him a great nation even when his wife was barren and beyond childbearing years. All he had to go on was the explicit Word of God. Circumstances, biology, and human reasoning shouted their objections to Abraham’s faith.
What has God clearly said to you in His Word that you refuse to put into practice? Perhaps it is tithing, or soulwinning, or extending forgiveness. Friends of God take Him at His Word. They know that God would never ask them to do something that was not mutually beneficial. Because Abraham believed God he was given the timeless label, “Friend of God” (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8).
3. A friend of God is one who joyfully seeks His benefit and advances His agenda.
John the Baptist taught us a great lesson in the waning moments of his public ministry. His own disciples complained that the new ministry of Jesus Christ had eclipsed their own both in popularity and in the sheer number of those baptized. To adjust their carnal thinking, John employed the illustration of a friend—a best man.
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.—John 3:29
Your true friend would rather that you bask in the limelight, that you receive the compliment, and that you enjoy the credit. The closer one’s relationship with God, the less he will be concerned about personal recognition.
It is enough for God’s friends—and supremely satisfying to them—that God receives the glory! Examine your own heart—is that desire true of you?
4. A friend of God will carefully guard his affections and amusements.
Some friendships simply cannot exist simultaneously.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.—James 4:4
Wickedness and worship cannot coexist. Friends of God are those whose love for God transcends the allure of a world system with its concomitant lusts and pride (1 John 2:15-17).
Am I a friend of the world or a friend of God? Review your schedule and your priorities. They will tell you the truth about your friendships.
5. A friend of God is privy to special information and is supremely reliable with it.
Think for a moment about your closest friends. They are the ones with whom you can share even the most confidential information. You trust them and know that they will always act in your best interest.
Humanly speaking, the best friends of Jesus were His disciples. With them He shared His deepest thoughts, emotions, and visions. To them He carefully provided instruction and expectation.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.—John 15:13-15
To be a true friend of Christ I must be faithful to the exclusive information He has given me (His Word), and I must be true to keep my commitments to it. Someone once said, “The request of a friend is a royal command.” This statement is never more true than when it applies to the life of the follower of Jesus Christ!
When it comes right down to it, I think most of us would have to admit that we are more acquaintances of God than we are His friends. But what an ideal for which to strive! May God help us to consider these principles, apply their truth, and enjoy their marvelous benefits.
This is quite a diatribe! Difficult, but it can be done!
Pray it to be! Faith, Love, Hope – Starting points to THE GREATEST
RELATIONSHIP you will EVER have, Amen!