It is innate in mankind to want to think of himself better, or, more highly than he ought. No doubt this is why God moved upon Paul to write to the Romans in chapter 12 verse 3, “…to every man that is amoung you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think;…” and again when he wrote to the churches of Galatia he states, “…if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” Paul, himself, was moved by the Spirit when it came time for a self-examination to state “I am the least of the apostles.” It has been said that one of the wonders of the Bible, one of the proofs of its divine origin is the presence of the failures of the writers written with their own hand. Should a human have been responsible for the text then certainly they would not have incluced their failures and sins. Yet, there they are in bold text on pages of white as if to make them jump off the page and into the spirit of the reader.
Here in Deuteronomy 9 we find Moses, the meekest of men, writing to Israel and confronting them with their sin. Beginning in 9:13 he repeatedly casts their sinful past before them. He unveils their action and titles them a ‘stiffnecked people’ (13) followed by revealing God’s design to ‘destroy them’ (14). He reminds them they had sinned against the Lord (16) and had ‘turned aside quickly’ (16) as if to highlight their fickle nature. He reminds them how their sinful ways toward God served to ‘provoke Him to anger’ (18). But this is not the end of his sermon on sin. He humiliated them about ‘the calf’ incident (21), further provocation at 3 different locations (22), and their failure at Kadesh-Barnea (23). He completed his confrontation of their sinfulness with this sentence ‘Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.’ Have mercy oh my soul! You can almost feel Moses’ passion and disgust with those he so faithful lead and interceded for on more than one occasion. However, to ensure that Moses did not ‘think more highly than he ought’ God moves him to write verse 2 of chapter 10. Here, subtily and yet piercingly, God reminds Moses of an inauspicious moment in his own walk with God. At the very moment that Moses might have entertained a tinge of superiority God reminds him, ‘I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which THOU BRAKEST…’. Oh, how gracious and merciful of God to keep our weakness before us lest we be lifted up with pride. So, today when you are confronted with the short-comings of others and find yourself climbing into the ring of judgment take time to rehearse YOUR PAST before you write THEIR FUTURE.