Moses, the Man of God -- By: Carl Armerding

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 116:464 (Oct 1959)
Article: Moses, the Man of God
Author: Carl Armerding


Moses, the Man of God

Carl Armerding

[Carl Armerding is Foreign Secretary of the Greater Europe Mission, and Visiting Bible Lecturer, Dallas Theological Seminary.]

To visit Rome and not to see Michelangelo’s celebrated sculpture of Moses is to miss one of the outstanding sights in that great city. But Moses was not a Roman. Therefore we conclude that it was something other than patriotism which inspired the famous Italian sculptor to use his extraordinary talent in the production of this masterpiece. Inasmuch as Michelangelo is said to have been deeply impressed by the teachings of Savonarola, it is quite possible that it was the Holy Scripture which gave him the idea for the work of art which is so lifelike that the artist himself thought that it should speak.

But Scripture speaks more loudly and more eloquently than any human work of art. If the importance of a man may be measured by the number of times that his name appears in the Bible, then Moses must be very important. He is mentioned more times than any of the patriarchs, not even Abraham excepted. Even in the New Testament he is mentioned more often than Abraham. And while it is true that David’s name occurs more often in the Old Testament, in the New Testament Moses is referred to more often than David.

It will not be necessary for our present purpose to consider all of these references. But it so happens that there are just eight references to Moses in the Psalms which give us a rather complete picture of this man of God. All but one of these references are found in the fourth book of the Psalms. If, as many believe, this group of Psalms corresponds in character to the fourth book in the Pentateuch, then we can see how appropriate it is that the man who led the children of Israel through the desert should be mentioned in a special way in this part of the Psalter. And in these days when there is admittedly a decline in greatness, it behooves us to inquire into the secret of this man’s effectiveness and manner of life and imitate his faith.

It is in the title of Psalm 90, of which he was the author, that Moses is described as “the man of God.” From its occurrence elsewhere in Scripture, we gather that this is a title given to those who are spiritually mature. Gesenius tells us that the word here used for man (ʾish) “is the name of virile age.” Moses was such a man. And in the opening lines of his prayer he gives us the secret of his spiritual virility. The Lord was the Sovereign of his life. That is indicated in the name which he uses in addressing the Lord. It is the Hebrew word Adonai, the Ruler of e...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()