He is the single most important figure in the Hebrew Bible (the Christian Old Testament). His presence is felt throughout the Christian New Testament. The epic account of his life, together with the deliverance of the Israelite slaves from bondage in Egypt, is the defining story of the Jewish people.
For Christians, Moses’ life serves as the backdrop for much that is found in the Gospels, including the story of Jesus’ flight to Egypt, the Sermon on the Mount, many of Jesus’ sayings in the Gospel of John, the activities of Jesus around Jerusalem, the Last Supper, and the Crucifixion. In the Gospel account of Christ’s transfiguration, Moses actually appears to Jesus and speaks to him. He is mentioned by name more than seventy times in the New Testament, and his life, story, and commands are alluded to in nearly every New Testament book.
Throughout history, his story has continued to speak to each successive generation. American slaves composed songs about Moses as they yearned for freedom. Moses is enshrined in the architecture of the U.S. Supreme Court—inside on the south frieze as one of the great lawgivers of history and outside on the eastern pediment. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his final sermon delivered the night before his death, drew upon the story of Moses ascending Mount Nebo. King proclaimed that he had “been to the mountaintop,” where, like Moses, he claimed to have seen the Promised Land. Moses’ story has been captured in art, music, literature, and film.
Among the many things I appreciate about Moses’ story is what an unlikely hero he was. He was a Hebrew adopted into Pharaoh’s family. He was a murderer and fugitive from the law. He was an elderly sheepherder from the desert whom God called to deliver the Israelites. He appears to have had some kind of speech impediment, yet became Israel’s greatest prophet. He was imperfect, afraid, reluctant, and often frustrated, all of which makes him so very human. Yet, despite all of this, the Book of Deuteronomy closes with these words: “No prophet like Moses has yet emerged in Israel; Moses knew the Lord face-to-face!” (Deuteronomy 34:10).
During the next few weeks on the blog, I’ll be sharing excerpts from my latest book, Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet. As I prepared to write this book, I traveled to Egypt with a film crew to see the places associated with Moses and the Exodus. We filmed the small group videos there - the footage is amazing. In the small group DVD I’ll take your group to the pyramids and into the Luxor and Karnak temples. We’ll sail down the Nile, and travel up to the Land of Goshen. We’ll pass by the Red Sea, through the desert, and up Mount Sinai before completing our journey on Mt. Nebo in Jordan where Moses died.
The book includes maps, charts, photos and historical material that will help illuminate Moses’ life. Then in each chapter I hope to help the reader see how Moses’ life, and the story of the Exodus, still speaks to our lives today.
I have included a promo video that you might find a helpful introduction to the book. Just click on the triangle on the image at the top of the blog post.
Click here to find more information about all Moses products, including the primary book, a Leader Guide, a Children's Leader Guide, and a Youth Study book.