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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Discipline Unto Prayer # 11

Meekness of the Man of God (continued)

Mercy At His Beginning

Moses' life began with a very great mercy. At that time every other baby boy had to be drowned. He alone was saved, and saved by the mercy of God. We can give every credit to his mother who thought of the plan and executed it, to the sister who watched by the ark of bulrushes and intervened so successfully, and even to Pharaoh's daughter who showed such true and unexpected compassion. But it was not the mother, the sister, the ark, or the princess, who delivered him, but the great mercy of God. Moses himself contributed least of all. When the "basket" was opened, he just cried - that was all he could do. Probably it was the one thing which his mother hoped would not happen, and it may be that  Miriam stood by, tense with concern, lest the baby should spoil everything by not smiling at the appropriate moment. All that the baby could do was to wail in complete weakness and so fail to give any help a all. His deliverance was all of God. The name given to him, Moses (Exodus 2:10), was a lifelong reminder of how he had been pulled out of the waters of destruction by the mercy of God. Such a beginning should keep a man humble.

Yet this, too, was our beginning. We would have been swallowed by destruction had it not been for Divine intervention. Like the baby Moses, we could contribute nothing but a cry, a despairing wail. It was God Who showed mercy to us and drew us out of the waters of death. We might well ask, as Moses must often have done, why we should have been the favored ones when others all around us have no such history. Many have had the same opportunities, the same, or even greater privileges; yet we are the Lord's, and they are not. The grace of God is amazing. "Tis mercy all!"

Mercy of Recovery

A time came when the Lord met him at the burning bush, met him with a commission and a promise. "Come now therefore, and I will send thee," He said to him (Exodus 3:10); and later, "Certainly I will be with thee" (verse 12). It would be impossible to imagine the overwhelming sense of the mercy of God that must have filled Moses' heart as he heard those words.

What a lot of history had intervened between Moses' first sense of call to be the Deliverer, and this present commission! He had begun - where we must all begin - by making a great renunciation. At forty years of age he let go of possessions, prospects, everything selfish and earthly, in order to be a servant of the Lord. This was not wrong; it was right, and nobody can serve the Lord without such a complete renunciation. He let everything go - or at least he meant to do so. This, however, did not make him meek. Many of us have passed through a similar experience, and been most sincere in our dedication, but it did not make us meek. Perhaps it made us the very opposite, giving us a false idea of our superiority to other Christians.

For Moses there followed a complete fiasco. He tried to serve the Lord in his own strength, in his own way and at his own time. Meek men don't do that sort of thing. The result was abysmal an utter failure. Away he fled into the land of Midian, and for forty years he had to live with his own sense of complete breakdown. Perhaps it was borne in on his soul that God's work could not be done by the kind of man he was, even when such a man had made great sacrifices. There must have been a collapse of  any imagined ability, a sense of  deep disappointment, in the conviction that he had spoiled every chance he ever had, that he had disqualified himself from ever being a servant of God.

We, too, must go this way, though happily it need not last for forty years as it did with him. But there is a spiritually symbolic meaning in that number: it is meant to indicate the thoroughness of the weakening process. He had learned his lesson. [or at least he thought he had].

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 12)

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