Humility = Weakness?

You will recall Moses, of Mt. Sinai and 10 commandments fame.  Yes, that Moses.  Do you remember the events that transpired back in camp while Moses was on Mt. Sinai with Yahweh receiving the Torah?  Ah yes, the sordid golden calf debacle.  Do you remember the details of that story?  Allow me to refresh you.

God told Moses that the people had corrupted themselves by making and worshiping the idol.  It is an easy inference from the Exodus text that they also committed fornication before the calf.  These two things, worship and fornication, were often associated in Canaanite idolatry.  Moses pleaded with God, who had determined to destroy the existing Israelite nation and start afresh with Moses.  Moses successfully convinced God to spare them.

When Moses returned to camp and beheld the spectacle, to employ some English understatement, he was disappointed.  Here’s what he did.

Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it. (Exodus 32:20 NKJV)

Moses directly  confronted his older brother, Aaron, who had been complicit in the calf episode.  Aaron wanted no part of the wrath of Moses and, attempting to shift the blame from himself to the  people,  responded thusly:

So Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord become hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil.” (Exodus 32:22 NKJV)

Though there is no extant video of Moses, Clint Eastwood’s icy stare may closely resemble the look Moses gave Aaron. 

Well, we could go on from here and recount how the Levites, at Moses’ behest, slew 3,000 of the unrepentant Israelites with the edge of the sword, but we’ll leave that for another time.

To say Moses was strong and assertive would be an understatement.  And yet, amazingly, we read this of Moses:

Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3 NKJV)

Moses was not weak – he was strong – and he was humble.

Moses was fearless in taking a stand for what was right, while at the same time keeping the best interest of the people he was leading before his own personal credit.  I believe that is a key.  Moses cared about God’s rights,  but he didn’t care about his own.  Therefore, he could be humble and this is what is meant by humility.

So, can I be like Moses?  Can I put others before myself in an attempt to help us all be more like Jesus?  Paul had something to say about this:

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well -being. (1 Corinthians 10:24 NKJV)


Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 NKJV)

And then, the example of Timothy:

But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:19-21 NKJV)

Let us all show true strength by humbly putting Christ first and others before ourselves.


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