(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) (Numbers 12:3, NASB)
This parenthetical statement of Moses, placed in the text by the Holy Spirit, clearly indicates the LORD’s opinion of one of the most revered personalities of the Bible – Moses. God declares for us that Moses was poor in spirit, and as such, we should learn from the life of Moses what it means to be very humble, or poor in spirit.
Humble in the Hebrew is an adjective meaning poor, oppressed, or afflicted, and humble. It is used of persons who put themselves after others in importance; persons who are not proud, haughty, supercilious, self-assertive, low in rank or position. Though Moses was not low in rank among the people of Israel his persona was such that in the view of God he was very humble despite his rank and position. Moses had what we would call today a servant’s heart, and is called a servant in Scripture forty-one times. A servant puts others first and themselves last. I have often heard that joy stands for Jesus first; Others second, and Yourself last. That is a Scriptural reality and it is the life lived of a servant, one who is poor in spirit.
This passage (Numbers 12:3) is from the story when Moses’ siblings, Miriam and Aaron, spoke out against Moses concerning his marriage to an Ethiopian woman. The LORD called the two forward to reprimand Moses because he was too humble to do it himself.
We read what God really thought of Moses and the relationship they shared that can only be entered into between an awesome Creator and a person who is poor in spirit:
Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, he is faithful in all My household; with him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses? (Numbers 12:6-8, NASB)
What is said about Moses should be what we desire God to say about us. Specifically the following:
- To be called a servant
- To be called faithful
- To hear from God clearly
- To see the LORD (to see the form of the LORD is to look, to watch, to regard. It has the sense of looking somewhat intensely in a focused way at something)
There is much to be gained at looking at the life of Moses. His story is included in the Bible from Exodus Chapter Two to Joshua Chapter One. The passages that more reflect Moses’ character, being poor in spirit, follow in this blog. But for a complete picture the disciple should study the whole account of the life of Moses.
Familiarize yourself in the life of Moses by studying the Bible and possibly picking up a character study from a well-respected Christian author.