Monday, October 18, 2010


If you ask most people about the story of Moses, their mind immediately begins to form images of Charlton Heston. Heston played the larger than life Old Testament character in Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic The Ten Commandments. Most would assume Moses was a charismatic, square-jawed, in control, verile man's man. However, Moses lived a life marked by contrasts. On one hand he was God's-appointed leader of the nation of Israel, but on the other, he was a man who struggled with issues of self-doubt, anger, loneliness, and regret. Ultimately, he accepted his calling from God and did what he had to do. Since his death, there has never been another man who had the sort of face-to-face relationship with God that Moses did.

In the fourth volume in Charles Swindoll's Great Lives series, Moses, A Man of Selfless Dedication, we follow through the life of Moses from his birth through his death. His time on this earth was marked by three distinct stages. He lived his first 40 years as Egypt's favorite son, as the pharaoh in waiting. At the end of this phase, he came to accept his true Hebrew lineage and to eschew his adopted Egyptian standing. In his rush to step up and represent his people, he killed an Egyptian and turned pharaoh against him. He spent the next 40 years of his life hiding out in the desert, resigned to a life as a lowly shepherd. It was during this time that God was preparing his heart and his mind. Moses then spent the last 40 years of his life leading the fledging Hebrew nation out of captivity in Egypt to the promised land.

As God's chosen leader of the nation of Israel, Moses was the point man in leading the 2 million Israelites out of Egypt. It was a major struggle from first to last. The Israelite ranks were filled with people who refused to believe God's promises even when he was living among them and revealing his power to them on a daily basis. Moses was the person who had to live with these people for 40 years and deal with their constant whining, their constant threats, their constant stubborness, and their constant sinning. However, he led graciously, with strength and dignity. He was a constant Godly presence among the Israelites until his appointed time came to pass the mantel of leadership to another. The next volume in the series is Elijah, A Man of Heroism and Humility.