Moses my servant is dead,— Now therefore、 arise、 pass over this Jordan, thou、 and all this people、 into the land which I am giving unto them—unto the sons of Israel.” (Joshua 1:2, EMPH)

Consider the failures of Moses’ life.  He balked when God specifically commanded him to go and speak to Pharaoh and demand that Pharaoh set his people free.  He grew frustrated with God when the Israelites didn’t immediately acquiesce when he arrived and explained that he was there to set them free from bondage.  When God told him to speak to the rock so that water would come out, Moses took his staff and struck the rock, God still sent water, but it was a grievous failure for which Moses was not allowed to enter the land of promise.  Many failures.  Much frustration at God.

Then look how God himself refers to Moses after his death: Moses my servant is dead.   Failures.  Frustrations. Fighting. Foul-tempered.  Servant of the living God!  This comes as sort of a surprise when we read it, and yet…at the same time it gives me a lot of comfort.  If Moses could be disappoint God so badly, and yet still graduate to glory as a servant of God, then there is hope for me.  My own track record is not better than Moses’ and indeed worse for I have led no nation out of bondage as he did.  However, if God called him my servant, then there is hope that he will call me my servant after my own death.

Thankfully, I do not come before God wrapped up in my own works or merit, because if I did I would certainly be rejected.  I come wrapped up in the righteousness of Jesus who died for me.  I am glad for this.

Charles Wesley understood this truth.  Here are the last two stanzas of his song, And Can It Be That I Should Gain:

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness Divine,
Bold I approach the eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Come to Jesus, O Great Failure.  He will not cast you out, indeed, he will even call you, “My servant.”

 

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