He Must Be the Greatest

Click here to read Deuteronomy 34 on BibleGateway.com

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said… but to this day no one knows where his grave is.”  Deuteronomy 34:5-6

mugListen to any major athlete in the world, and you’ll often hear them talk about greatness.  They want to score the most, eat that many hotdogs, win the most championships, set this or that record, etc.  Even scouts will often say “this kid is driven, he really wants to be great.”   Even our cereal tries to be GRRRRREEEEAAAT.

Ever ask yourself why? What’s the point?  Do you know who won the World Series in 1973 without looking it up?  Do you know who won the pommel horse event for the last 5 Olympics? Do you know who ate the most pies at last year’s country fair? Do you know which wide receiver has won the most Superbowls?  You may, if you happen to be a sports fan, but for most people, they may be aware that information for a day, but then it’s quickly forgotten.  So what can we do to be remembered?

In just about any society, there is a tendency to build large monuments to their heroes, often tombs.  Obviously, the pyramids are the clearest example, but look at tombs for emperors, churches that hold the remains of saints, or statues of Babe Ruth.  We want something tangible and long-lasting to leave behind, so we can go to a specific place and remember that person.

THE REAL MOSES BUS TOUR

Yet in the case of Moses, we don’t even know where he’s buried.  Let’s set aside for a moment that God actually buried someone (how did that work? Did the body just disappear? Did angels come and bear it away on a litter?), why does the Bible note that no one knows where the tomb is?

Let’s say for example we knew exactly where Moses was buried; what do you think would happen? Pilgrimages? Maybe a yearly festival? Some good tour buses hitting the site on weekends? Maybe some T-shirts? Isn’t that what we do with our heroes? But not in this case.  The Bible specifically says that “no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses…no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”  Clearly, by the standards of that time, Moses was a superstar.  Yet, he disappears into obscurity.  There are no shrines to visit, no festivals, no postcards at a cheap tourist trap.  Just the memory of the man.

And the Word of the Lord.

Moses (according to tradition) wrote the first five books of the Bible.  He passed the Law from God to the people of Israel (and consequentially down to us).  He predicted the rise and warned against the mistakes that would lead to the fall of Israel.  He left behind the revelations from God, and the promises He made to His people. Moses’  greatness was in not drawing attention to himself, but pointing people to God.

LEFT BEHIND

What do you want your legacy to be? Do you want a big mansion with your rotting carcass inside?  Do you want to be buried with honor, with a giant stone slab over it, which apparently is needed to keep you inside in case you decide to get up and walk around on stormy nights?

Or do you want the Word of the God to be the only thing you leave behind?  Would you rather that your only memorial is the lives of people serving Christ that you helped along the road? You only wealth given to the poor and needy? Moses was not a great man because he conquered the world like Alexander, or ruled it like Augustus, or was well known at the World Cup, but because he served God.  He was “more humble than any other man,” because he recognized that without God, he was nothing; but with God, anything was possible.

That’s true greatness.

Category: Uncategorized
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>