January 31, 2008

End of an Era

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses ...
Deuteronomy 34:10


When truly great leaders pass from the scene, people often wonder what will happen next. Who will provide insightful leadership for future generations?

Moses was such a man. He certainly wasn't perfect. Like others of his generation, he would die outside the promised land for his disobedience (Numbers 20:12). But there was no one like him, not in his own day or later. For forty years he stood between God and his people, bringing them God's instructions and pleading before God on behalf of those stubborn people God loved. Moses was the go-between and the lawgiver.

The Lord himself had said, "With [Moses] I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles" (Numbers 12:8). And now, even though Israel would enter the land under Joshua's leadership, they would still be under Moses' guidance: the book of the law of Moses (Joshua 1:7-8) would accompany Israel into the future.

Today, though, we know that One who is greater than Moses has come. He not only spoke face to face with God; he is God's Son, Jesus Christ. He gives us the bread and water of life, and he is "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).

Like Moses, Christ died. But unlike Moses, Christ rose again and ascended to his Father. And he will come again. Don't look for another.

God in heaven, help us to be patient as we await Christ's coming and the beginning of the new heavens and earth where your righteousness will dwell forever. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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