He fell on his face


29_Moses_onfaceToday I read through most of the book of Numbers and found myself struck again by the behavior of Moses when he is confronted with problems and conflict.

Almost a year ago, I was impressed the same way and wrote this post, which stressed the role of Moses as an intercessor.

This time I was struck by the immediacy of his reaction to turn to God.

Consider how you would react in the following situations:

  • When people under your authority (children maybe?) refuse to do what they are asked (Numbers 14:5)
  • When someone you trust takes over a responsibility you have been given and ignores and belittles you (Numbers 16:4)
  • When a former companion falls into sin and is endangering the spiritual health of others (Numbers 16:22)
  • When a great disaster is about to fall on people who have insulted you (Numbers 16:44)
  • When you or those you love are facing a great need (Numbers 20:3)

In all of these cases, Moses immediately “fell on his face” before the Lord.

I had to ask myself if turning to God in prayer is my first response when I encounter trouble, opposition, or need. Moses’ response illustrates the depth of his humility by turning to God first. He didn’t try to reason with or argue with his opponents, he didn’t discuss the issues with a group of sympathetic friends, he didn’t seek professional opinions. The way Moses depended on God shows why God said this of Moses:

Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth. Numbers 12:3

Lord, let me be one who like Moses seeks your help before any other!



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