When God intervenes in human history and wants to show that things are not happening by accident, he chooses the number 40. He gave Moses 40 years of education and leadership training in Egypt’s royal courts, and then God gave him 40 years of humility therapy tending sheep for his father-in-law in the wilderness. The last 40 show one of God’s super seniors at work. Most people dream of leisurely retirement activities in those senior years. Moses was governor of the entire Israelite nation for those extremely stressful four decades. “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone” (Deuteronomy 34:7).
Moses’ maturity and people sense made him a great leader. Listening and following God’s advice made him even better. Though he had grown up in Pharaoh’s palace, his last four decades were spent in a tent.
But he held the nation together, occasionally assisted by divine miracles. And it was during those years that the oral transmission of the Word of God was set down on paper (probably papyrus) for the first time. Moses authored the matchless first five books of the Bible. What a debt we owe him! What a great example of senior service he provides. Inspired by his work, how can we not answer God’s call to work even if he comes near the end of our lives?
Now if only God would give us physical strength and clear eyesight till we’re 120 . . .
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