The parashah this coming Shabbat tells of the sin of the Golden Calf at Mt. Sinai. We see in this one of the less spoken about aspects of Moshe (Moses), which is his courage. We haven’t really seen that too much; I mean, when he first met the Lord at the burning bush all he wanted to do was get out of the calling. He did something along the way to Egypt that got God so mad He almost killed Moses (the Chumash suggests that Moses pretended to be sick to delay going), and even though he appeared before Pharaoh, it was Aaron that did most of the talking and doing. It took Moshe a while before he really stood up and took charge.
At the mountain after the people sin, God tells Moses to stand back so God can destroy these rebellious and stiff-necked people, then make a nation out of Moses. So, what does Moses do? He doesn’t stand out of the way, he stands in the breach! He places himself between a rebellious and sinful people deserving of death and the Lord, God Almighty, who is all powerful and, I should add, pretty pissed off at the moment.
Pretty gutsy, says I.
You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with the title? What doesn’t he deserve?”
The same thing that you don’t deserve- salvation.
The people deserved death, and they weren’t worthy to have God’s presence with them, but thanks to Moses they not only got to survive their sin, but also had God’s presence travel with them for the next 40 years.
Moses stood between God and the sin of the people to save them, and what they got they got because of Moses.
Yeshua stood between God and all the people in the world, and every sin that ever happened and ever will. Because of Yeshua we all have the hope of salvation- what we have we have because of Yeshua.
Shaul tells the Gentile Roman Believers in Romans 11 that they aren’t to be proud or haughty when thinking about how they have salvation that the Jewish people don’t because if it weren’t for the Jews (not accepting Yeshua fully), they wouldn’t have anything. They have what they have because of the Jewish people.
In Deuteronomy 9: 5-6 Moses tells the people that they are going to enter a wonderful land of milk and honey, which they don’t deserve to enter. The only reason they are entering is because of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I don’t deserve what I have: salvation from my sinful nature, peace of spirit from the Comforter Yeshua sent to me (The Ruach HaKodesh, or Holy Spirit) and hope for my loved ones that comes only from the promise Yeshua made that whatever we ask for in His name we shall receive. Even though I know it comes down to these people choosing to accept God and Yeshua, and that because God gave us all free will they may never be saved, I have no hope for what I can do and every hope that God can do what I can’t. I trust that He is answering my prayers, and that if anyone can get my children to accept God and reconcile to me, it is God. And if (and when ) they do, I won’t deserve it- it will be because of what God does.
We don’t deserve what we have, and we don’t have what we deserve. Thank God for that! We all should remember to remember this: we don’t deserve what we have with God. This is not something we should beat ourselves down with, it is something which we can use to continually raise ourselves up! When we understand and appreciate all that others have done for us it should encourage us to do better, ourselves.
We owe it to God, to Yeshua, to Moses, to Abraham, to the Prophets, to everyone and anyone who has stood in the breach between us and God to make our salvation possible. And because they have risked and (more often than not) lost their lives for us, we need to do everything we can to honor their sacrifice, every moment of every day.
I am saved by the Grace of God, by the sacrificial death of Yeshua, by the courage of Moses, with the guidance of friends and strangers who knew the Lord, by my Rabbi, who helped me to see how to maintain and strengthen my faith, by so many people. I owe it to them to continue, faithfully, to be a better me and to help others as they have helped me.
I don’t deserve what I have been given, and neither do you. Let’s show our gratitude by running the good race, keeping our eyes on the prize, and doing for others what others have done for us.