So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.” (Exodus 34:8-9)
I have long believed that one of the reasons Moses was chosen to lead God’s people is because he didn’t want to lead God’s people. By that I mean, he wasn’t some unhealthily ambitious person who got a kick out of lording over people. Though he was raised in the house of Pharaoh and accustomed to luxury and being waited upon, by nature Moses was a shepherd. If you think about it, most of the greatest leaders in the Bible were shepherds long before they were kings and leaders.
The fact that Moses assumed personal responsibility for Israel’s sin by saying “our iniquity” and “our sin” is, I believe, evidence of his shepherd’s heart. Even though they drove him crazy at times and provoked him to frustration and anger, he was loathe to abandon them and set himself apart from them when intercession was needed. In this manner, he reminds us of the selflessness of Messiah in that, though blameless, he took the sin of others upon himself.
It occurs to me that those who have a heart after God will behave in like manner. Though we may not participate in the sin of others we, nevertheless, understand that we rise and fall as a people. In other words, where the Body is concerned, we shouldn’t be so quick to sever our hand or foot because it won’t behave but, rather, should pray for healing that the Body might function as it is intended. In other words, we should strive to follow the example of Moses — and ultimately the Messiah — and be quick to intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters rather than pointing an accusing finger at them.
The Messiah could have stepped aside and allowed us to suffer the consequences of our actions — but chose not to. So then, we thank our Heavenly Father for the Good Shepherd, who willingly gives His life for the sheep. May we learn to follow His example and be ready to serve our brothers and sisters with humility and devotion.
Blessings and Shalom,