This Week's Focus Passage

A Prayer of Moses the Man of God

Focus Passage: Psalm 90

‘A Prayer of Moses the man of God’

We have here before us the prayer of Moses, the man of God. In at least five other places in Scripture is Moses referred to as ‘Moses, the man of God.’ In Deuteronomy 33:1, we read this of this servant of the Lord, ‘And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.’ What was this blessing that was imparted by this man to these over whom God had placed him for these forty years? It is summed up in the words of the final verse in that blessed chapter, when Moses concludes with,

Happy art thou, O Israel: Who is like unto thee, a people saved by Jehovah, the shield of thy help, And the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall submit themselves unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

Indeed, who is like unto those saved by God through Jesus Christ, His Champion? Who else has such a Shield? What others have such a Sword? Yea, who is like unto the people that God has so determined to be a people for His own possession? And Moses is granted the privilege of pronouncing this wonderful blessing upon the people of God. Surely, he is the very man of God, the one to whom Jehovah spake face to face; even as David was later known to be the very man after God’s own heart; Moses, face to face with God; David, heart to heart with God.

In Joshua 14:6, when the children of Israel were dividing the land ‘as Jehovah commanded Moses,’ we are further informed that,

Then the children of Judah drew nigh unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that Jehovah spake unto Moses the man of God concerning me and concerning thee in Kadesh-barnea.

This Caleb was he that was sent by Moses with Joshua to spy out the land as the children of Israel were approaching that place which God had promised to give to them as their possession. These two, alone among the twelve spies, had faith in the promises of God. They declared this faith in face of the opposition of the ten unbelieving spies; Joshua and Caleb spake unto the congregation, saying;

The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. If Jehovah delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it unto us; a land flowing with milk and honey. Only rebel not against Jehovah, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is removed from over them, and Jehovah is with us: fear them not.

And this Caleb is now reminding Joshua and the people of the words that Moses the man of God spoke concerning the allotment promised for this faithfulness. The promise was as the promise of God Himself, for Moses spoke to God, and spoke for God. This reality Caleb was not slow to point out to Israel.

Generations after the passing of Moses, he was still made mention of as the man of God. When David, in 1 Chronicles 23, was appointing individuals and tribes to differing duties and courses, in referring to the business appointed the descendants of Moses, he referred to them as the sons of Moses the man of God. And again in 2 Chronicles, when its writer speaks of the great Passover called for by Hezekiah, the observation was, in his words, according the law of Moses the man of God. The importance of Moses, and the references to him as the man of God, continued for many more generations and the expression is found on the fifth occasion in the book of Ezra. This book, of course, was written about the restoration after the Babylonish captivity of Judah. Among the first things done as many were restored to their land, was the erection of the altar of God; we read this account in Ezra 3:2,

Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt-offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.

This tradition, of course, continued many years later among the Pharisees, who so revered the memory of Moses and ‘his law’ so as to supplant the law of God. How prone natural man is to make idols of men. There are legions of statues to the memories of great varieties of personages; statues of friend and foe alike burden the lands of every continent and every country around this globe. It would be well for us to make every effort to remember the axiom, ‘The best of men, are men at best.’ Though many of his ‘followers’ did not seem to be aware of this truth, it seems that Moses recognized it very clearly. He spoke of this matter in his prayer recorded for us in this ninetieth psalm, when saying;

Thou turnest man to destruction, And sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, And as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: In the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

It is conspicuously interesting to consider the fact that while men make idols of men, and likely shall until the end of time, the Word of God teaches us not to make an image, no, not even of the One who is the only true and perfect man, Jesus, the son of God. May the Lord help us to never forget that while Moses was the man of God, there is but one God-man, the Son of man, our King.

David Farmer, elder,

Fellowship Bible Church


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