Year C Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 25(30)

Being a Modern Moses

Deuteronomy 33:1-4 (Good News Bible) These are the blessings that Moses, the man of God, pronounced on the people of Israel before he died. 2The LORD came from Mount Sinai; he rose like the sun over Edom and shone on his people from Mount Paran. Ten thousand angels were with him, a flaming fire at his right hand. 3The LORD loves his people and protects those who belong to him. So we bow at his feet and obey his commands. 4We obey the Law that Moses gave us, our nation's most treasured possession.

This blessing was important, because of who Moses was. Probably the most important part of Moses' resume appears in these texts.

The Bible describes Moses as a servant of God, and a friend of God.[1] In spite of failures, Moses is God's friend, God's servant, and the man of God. The Word remembers Moses for his faithfulness, even though he had failures.[2]

Moses is described as a man of God. This is the way a prophet of old was described.[3] The term man of God is used about 70 times in the Hebrew Scriptures to refer to prophets and messengers of Gods.[4] Within the Hebrew Scriptures, the man of God refers has prophecies that come true.[5]

The introductory comments before Moses' blessing also contain God's qualifications. Israel's God is no ordinary, local, petty god. God is not limited to having power over just one thing, such as the storms, or such as fertility of crops. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not a god over one small area. Israel was rescued and given freedom by a God who was more than capable of taking care of all of the needs of the children of Israel. Anybody who has found the Lord has found the one-stop, spiritual shopping center. There is no need to look elsewhere. All spiritual needs can be met by the One God.

So Moses spoke for God. Pronouncing God's blessings for the tribes of Israel. Moses is treating the children of Israel just like each of them are his loved children. This sounds routine – God blessing His people, through His spokesman.

Moses treats the people who complained, who challenged his authority, who criticized his leadership and rebelled against him and against God like his loved children. That is impressive.

And that is the call God gives to His queer servants today. The Lord calls each of His queer children to be a modern Moses. We are asked to bless people, even when they are jerks, even when people treat us like dirt, even when people appear to be completely beyond the reach of God's grace. Even when people are homophobic or transphobic, we are to bless them. Blessing people does not mean we let people walk all over us, but it means we treat people with whom we disagree with respect and dignity.

[1]Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen and H. Wayne House, eds.  The Nelson Study Bible.  (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Pub., 1997), 346.

[2]Radmacher, Allen House, 346, cite Hebrews chapter three.

[3]James A. Borland, et. al., eds.  The KJV Parallel Bible Commentary (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Pub., 1994), 384.

[4]John MacArthur.  The MacArthur Study Bible.  (Nashville:  Word, 1997), 300. 

[5]Adele Berlin and Marc Brettler, eds.  The Jewish Study Bible.  (New York:  Oxford Univ. Press, 2004),446, lists texts from 1 Samuel, Joshua, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings.