Among others at the Mount of Transfiguration were Moses and Elijah. Moses, of course, represented the Law, and Elijah represented the Prophets. Moses died and was buried, yet he was with the Lord Jesus in glory. Elijah never did die. He was taken home to glory in a whirlwind. I think these two men pictured the people of God. Some of God’s people sleep—that is, they have died, and their souls have gone home to be with the Lord. Some of God’s people, when the Lord returns, will be raptured and taken to glory. Whether we live or die we will be with the Lord. But Moses represented something else in this scene: Moses was God’s servant. In a very special way God spoke of Moses as His servant. God said to Joshua, “Moses my servant is dead” (Josh. 1:2). In Hebrews 3:5 we are told that Moses was faithful as a servant in God’s house—that is, in taking care of God’s people. Moses illustrates for us the glory of service. Some of God’s people have a difficult time serving God. I have been in the ministry for a number of years. It has been my privilege to pastor three different churches in three different situations. God has given me the joy of ministering in many places in this world. Wherever I go, I find that God’s servants are having a difficult time. There is blessing and joy, but there is also heartache and battles. We get tired in the Lord’s work, but we do not get tired of the Lord’s work. Whenever you get discouraged in the work, just remember Moses and the glory of service. The glory of God kept Moses going in his service. The life of Moses illustrates three encouragements in the service of God. First, God’s glory will sustain you. Service for God is not easy. Moses had many obstacles to overcome. When God called him into service, Moses had opportunities in Egypt. Yet Moses turned his back on the wealth and pleasures of Egypt to serve the Lord. the people he ministered to repeatedly tempted him to go back to Egypt. Moses wanted them to go forward, but they wanted to go back. Think of the problems Moses faced when he looked at himself. He said, “Lord, I don’t have the ability to speak. I don’t have the ability to lead these people” (see Ex. 4:10). Moses was wrong in saying that, because if God calls a person, God will equip him. God’s commandments are always God’s enablements. But perhaps you and I have also made this mistake. We have looked at our ministry and have said, “Lord, I can’t do this. I can’t pastor this church. I can’t teach this Sunday school class. It’s impossible for me to continue this missionary work.” Moses had another problem: The people of Israel were not the easiest people in the world to minister to! They criticized him, they judged him and they resisted him! They did not like the way he led the, and they did not like the way he fed them. They wanted to go back to Egypt to eat the leeks and the onions and the garlic. They did not like the manna that came from heaven. The carnality of these people! I suppose that kind of congregation would discourage any of God’s servants! It is not hard to get along with the Lord because He is so loving, patient and understanding. But sometimes it is hard to get along with God’s people. Sometimes God’s people do not want to go forward, they want to go backward or to stand still. Sometimes their appetites are worldly and fleshly. I know of pastors who are discouraged and want to give up. They have preached the Word of God faithfully, they have prayed, and yet somehow the people do not want to obey. Moses had the same problem with his people. Moses also had his own failures. He was human like anybody else, made of clay. He lost his temper one day and hit the rock instead of speaking to it (see Num. 20:7-13). That burst of temper cost him a trip to the Holy Land! Moses had his days of defeat and discouragement. What was it that sustained Moses during all of those difficulties? It was the glory of God. Moses had seen the glory of God. The thing that made Israel different from every other nation was that God’s glory dwelt with them in the tabernacle. God’s glory will sustain you in your Christian service just as it sustained Moses. If you serve for the approval of men or for the praise of men, you will never succeed, because people are more prone to criticize than they are to commend. If you serve for personal gain, you will never succeed. But if you say, “I’m going to teach that Sunday school class to the glory of God. I’m going to sing in the choir, I’m going to do my missionary work, I’m going to pastor this church, I’m going to raise these children, I’m going to do this job to the glory of God,” then you will succeed. The glory of God is the only motivation that will sustain you. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Get your eyes off people because if you look at people, you will always be dismayed. Get your eyes off yourself. If you look at yourself, you will always be discouraged. Get your eyes on God and His glory, and the glory of God will sustain you.
© Warren Wiersbe
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).