I am speaking later this week on the life of Moses. Part of the value of looking at the lives of Bible characters is that they give us an insight in story form of how people are shaped and how God works in and through a life.
Here is a list of ten aspects of a life story, all illustrated in the life of Moses, but transferrable to anyone who wants to reflect on their own story.
- Key stages: Moses’ life is divided into three phases of forty years – formative years in Egypt, obscure years in the desert, and leadership years, again in the desert.
- Important people: other people have a role to play – some positive, some negative in his life. For example, his sister has both a positive (when her quick wittedness ensures his safe keeping in the palace) and a negative (when she criticises him) role.
- Defining moments: for example, what will happen when Pharaoh’s daughter finds him? Or, how will he react when he sees an Egyptian beating up a Hebrew?
- Crucial decisions: defining moments set the stage for crucial decisions like his decision to deal with the Egyptian oppressor, so identifying himself with as an Israelite rather than an Egyptian.
- Turning points: that decision precipitated his leaving Egypt and the start of the second major phase of his life – the desert years.
- Times of testing: Moses’ leadership task was hugely testing. The challenges revealed his character and the quality of his relationship with God.
- Successes: for example, being used by God as a channel of supernatural power; or the fact that he twice showed himself more concerned for God’s honour than his own.
- Failures: notably in allowing himself to become bitter, striking the rock and so forfeiting his place in the Land.
- Life lessons: as an example, the time of his call was a time when he discovered more about who God was.
- Sense of calling: at 40 he had a sense of wanting to make a difference for the Israelites, but it was not until he was 80 that God finally called him, by which time he had lost any sense of ambition.
What does your story look like?
The call is the leader’s personal conviction of having received some life assignment or mission that must be completed.