PENTECOST SERMON (preached in 2020)
“We Need More Moses”
We are here today, not only because it is the weekly Sabbath, but because it is a Feast Day Sabbath. Today we celebrate Pentecost, or in Hebrew Shavuot (meaning weeks).
This sounds strange to most people in the world, because most people in the world that follow Holy Scripture have already celebrated this day about 50 days ago in the spring time. We are here celebrating it in the summer. We have our reasons, they have theirs, and I’m not here to speak down on anyone who sets their heart to follow the Most High, even if they see a festival calculation a little different than me. I thought about re-teaching my sermons on the count to Pentecost, but I decided not to this year. Maybe next year, but those sermons are online for anyone to listen to.
My focus today will be on one aspect of this Feast, and that is: it is a memorial of the giving of the law to prophet Moses.
How Great Moses Was, and Is
In Exodus 31, after Moses had spent about 40 days with Yahweh, fasting from both food and water, Yahweh handed to him two stones. Exodus 31:18 says:
When He finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of Elohim.
Prophet Moses had been up on the Mountain since Exodus 24. No other human was with him. He spent time all alone with Yahweh, and Yahweh was speaking to Him, like a man speaks with his friend. Moses was not spending his time eating, or even thinking about anything carnal. He communed with Yahweh.
In Numbers 12:6-9, Yahweh says this about Moses:
Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from Yahweh, I make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. (7) Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household. I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of Yahweh. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? (9) Yahweh’s anger burned against them, and he left.
Moses wasn’t an ordinary man. Yahweh had a special relationship with him. He was a chosen vessel. To disrespect Moses was to disrespect Yahweh, and to believe in Yahweh included believing in Moses.
In Exodus 14, Moses led the children of Israel through the Red Sea. You know the account. After the Israelites went through on dry ground, and the Egyptians were drowned in the sea when they tried to cross that same dry ground, Exodus 14:31 says this:
When Israel saw the great power that Yahweh used against the Egyptians, the people feared Yahweh and believed in Him and in His servant Moses.
One word - believed - is ascribed to an action the people had towards both Yahweh and Moses. You could not believe in Yahweh without believing in Moses, because He was Yahweh’s man; Yahweh chose Him to be their deliverer. Yahweh sent Him down to Egypt to rescue His people from slavery. And as I mentioned a moment ago, Yahweh chose Moses to directly hand his law to, and give that law to the rest of the people of Israel. And he did so at the time of Pentecost, which is why this Feast is held as a memorial of the giving of the law.
The Law of Moses
This is why, once we get to the book of Joshua, the law of Yahweh begins to be called the law of Moses. Joshua 8:32 says that Joshua wrote down a copy of the law of Moses on stone. In Joshua 23:6 Joshua tells the people to be courageous, and to keep all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, not turning to the right or the left.
King David called it the law of Moses in 1 Kings 2:3, Daniel called it the law of Moses when he prayed there in Daniel 9:13, and the prophet Malachi (4:4), in the last prophetic book of the Older Testament instructs us to:
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Yeshua the Messiah also refers to the law being from Moses. We see this by comparing Matthew and Mark’s account of the hand-washing dispute between he and the Pharisees.
In Matthew 15:3-4 Yeshua says, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said: Honor your father and your mother...”
Yet Mark records Yeshua as saying this (in Mark 7:9-10), “You completely invalidate God’s command in order to maintain your tradition. For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother...”
So who said the commandment? God or Moses? The gospel authors record Yeshua as using God and Moses interchangeably, because Moses had such a close relationship with the Almighty, and the Almighty gave his law through the agency of Moses.
In Matthew 23, Yeshua taught his disciples to obey what Moses said. He says there in verses 2-3, “The scribes and Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. Therefore do whatever they tell you and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach.” The chair of Moses comes from Exodus 18 where Moses would sit (think of sitting in a chair), and the people would come to him for judgment in regards to the law, and how to handle disputes among the community. In Exodus 18:16 Moses says, “I teach them the Almighty’s statutes and laws.” (As a side note, recognize that Exodus 18 is before the giving of the law in Exodus 20-40. Yahweh’s law existed before Mount Sinai.)
It’s possible that there was an actual seat that was in synagogues in the first century (when Yeshua lived) where elders would sit and explain the Torah to the congregation. Yeshua is telling us that when a scribe or Pharisee sits in Moses’ chair and explains Torah properly, the disciples of Yeshua are supposed to listen and do what they say to do. Why? Because they are explaining the law of Moses; the law Yahweh gave through His servant Moses.
The Law is Exalted
So this is a theme throughout Scripture. The law came through Moses, and the law is precious, priceless, more to be desired than gold, yea than much fine gold, sweeter than honey, and the honeycomb. Sometimes, the way I hear preachers talk, you’d think Psalms said, “Your law is like castor oil” instead of “Your law is sweeter than honey.” Or, “Your law is like plastic” instead of “Your law is like gold.”
In Scripture the law is exalted, and Moses is exalted. So today, we lift up both the law and prophet Moses. We are thankful for both the instructions Yahweh gave to us, and the prophet He used to give those instructions.
We say along with the Psalmist, in Psalm 106:23: “Yahweh would have destroyed them - if Moses His chosen one had not stood before Him in the breach to turn His wrath away from destroying them.”
Law of YAH vs. Law of Man
There are all kinds of laws in the world today. It seems like mayors and governors and presidents love making new laws, and enforcing new ordinances. But for the people of Yahweh, there is only one law; only one standard of righteousness. 10 basic commandments, with their respective statutes and judgments. We hold up that standard high today. We fly that flag of freedom today. Freedom from bondage and slavery. Freedom from tyranny. Freedom from sin. As Psalm 119:45 says, “I will walk at liberty for I seek Thy precepts.”
Never be ashamed of this law. Never be embarrassed by this law. Never be afraid to stand firm on what our Creator has said, and what Moses has written down. Men and women will come at you will all sorts of arguments. “That’s primitive. That’s archaic. That’s outdated. We know better now. We need advancement. We need improvement.” All those statements come from the minds of carnal men. Men who think they know more than the One who created them.
Psalm 19 says that the law of Yahweh is perfect. It needs no perfecting. It needs no additions or subtractions. It comes from the mind of the Eternal One, who knows us better than we know ourselves. It has stood the test of time. It is wise because it comes from the Wisest Being of all. It is just. It is fair. It is right. And when put into practice by individuals, families, societies, and nations, those entities run like a well-oiled machine.
Yahweh’s law brings peace to people. Psalm 119:165 even says, “Great peace have they who love Thy law.” It brings peace because it brings order. It brings peace because it brings justice. It brings peace because it punishes crime swiftly.
The Law Teaches Us
This law of Yahweh will make a man love his wife and make a woman love her husband. This law will make parents spend time with and raise their children, and talk about Yahweh’s ways to them when they sit in their house, or when they walk down the road. This law will make you set aside time for Yahweh, a whole day each week, and special times each month and year.
This law will make you give to the poor, and look out for the widows and the fatherless. This law will make you have compassion on the deaf or blind person. This law will make you respect the land Yahweh gives you, in giving the land rest. This law will make you respect even your animals, treating them with care and kindness.
The Problem is Us, not the Law
These are all things taught in this law, but many today say has been done away with and nailed to the cross of Messiah. They get that from Colossians 2:14, but it’s such a bad reading of that text. In context it is not the law that was nailed to the cross, but our sins against the law - our record of debt - that was nailed to the cross.
The law is not the problem. The law has never been the problem. You and I are the problem; our sinful ways have always been the problem. Yeshua’s death wiped our slate clean. He blotted out the record of debt that was against us.
We don’t need to change the law, we need to be changed. We are the ones who need new hearts and new minds. We are the ones who need to repent and walk in another direction. We are the ones who need cleaning. Yeshua said that from within, out of people’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, greed, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. That comes from your own natural heart. That’s why Yahweh has to give you a new heart.
When King David sinned against the Almighty, the law was there, and it showed and told David the way to live, but he disobeyed. He then recognized that the problem was with him. He didn’t pray, “Create a new law O Yahweh.” He prayed, “Create in me a clean heart.”
We Need More Moses
We don’t need to forget Moses today. We need to remember Moses. We don’t need less Moses. We need more Moses. Yeshua never said one negative word about Moses or the law of Moses.
Yeshua of Nazareth is the prophet like Moses that Yahweh raised up from among the brethren, according to Acts 3:22-26. A prophet like Moses is used there because Moses was a good prophet; a chosen vessel, through which the holy law came. Away with all this nonsense that says we don’t need Moses anymore. That came from later Christianity, not the early Messianic assembly.
Final Exhortation (Success)
Just as Yahweh sent Moses down from the mountain with His law for the children of Israel (to be a light to the world), back in Exodus 31 and 32, He is sending us His law today in written form. He is giving us His law and telling us: I set before you today life and death, blessing and cursing. CHOOSE LIFE, so that you and your descendants may live.
Yahweh spoke through Joshua in Joshua 1:7-8 “Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”
There’s the prosperity message. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to live life like the rest of humanity. Life has its bumps, bruises, and problems for all of us. But it does mean that your life will be much more peaceful, prosperous, and successful, if you follow Yahweh. If you observe the instructions given through His servant Moses.
Thank Him today for His law. We are here today because of His law. Never speak evil of it. Always keep it. Protect it as you would the pupil of your eye. Show Yahweh you love Him. Keep His commandments.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.