Moses Moses! Samuel Samuel! Saul Saul! Check it out...
Why did God call them mentioning their names twice?
Let's begin with Moses.
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” Ex 3,1-3
The Creator and Ruler of Heaven and Earth, God Himself followed the scene taking place at Mt Sinai. Heaven opened, He came down and spoke to one single individual in the middle of these isolated mountains. Moses is in God’s focus. He and his life are ‘parked’ on the backside of Mt Sinai. His professional life had recently collapsed and was on total stand-by with very little future perspective. He is miles and a unprecedented disaster away from his normal high-ranked environment and his daily work. His social network has brutally diminished to his wife, his in-laws and their sheep. His rhetoric skills have hit ground-zero, so to say.
Moses is totally unclothed…
But nevertheless God’s attention is on him and He has come to give him a new mantle, seriously more influential than the sum of his pharaonic wardrobe. Moses has been an important person since his birth, but now he unexpectedly became a strategic man in spite of his immediate situation. He had not changed, but somebody entered the desolated scene of his human life. God just arrived and a whole new era had now dawned. These simple things happening to an isolated miserable man will affect the history of a whole nation, which will come ‘home’ to its original and eternal assignment and mandate.
Moses saw a downfall, God saw a dawn.
The first facet in Kingdom-assignments is THE PERSON.
“And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months.” Ex 2,1-2
This young couple were Levites.
Their son was beautiful.
"At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God" Acts 7,20
"By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command." Heb 11,23
There had been a long journey since the days of his first years.
“But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river's bank. And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river. And her maidens walked along the riverside; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." Ex 2,3-6
He was brought to Pharaoh's daughter's home and raised by her, like her own son. Egyptian high society became his daily environment, and he walked daily through the corridors of political and financial power, spoke with the most brilliant personalities of the whole Middle East. He was trained in the most advanced educational institutions and attended the most exclusive parties with peer-aristocrats and celebrities. He was updated with the breath-taking technological progress and discoveries made by contemporary scientific brains.
Remember that he was from the tribe of Levi, as both his parents were Levites. Therefore 'behind' or 'under' all these qualities, skills and talents, strong spiritual genes were present... even though they might have been dormant for a while. But one day they were activated by God:
"Now when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel." Acts 7,23.
Was Moses an important person? He undoubtedly was. But God had much more for him. Moses had to become a strategic man, in spite of his immediate situation.
People can be born talented, they can learn skills, which give them importance. But in order to be a strategic person, God must come into the picture. Strategic greatness is not something one is born with; neither is it something to be learnt. It cannot be given… one has to be made. Therefore Jesus is quoted to have said: "Follow me, and I will make you..."
Thoughts had come into his mind in Egypt, God’s thoughts, thoughts about covenant-community, thoughts about Kingdom tribes and their destinies, thoughts about the Levites, about his parents. Many times the voice of God might have been heard inside his heart, maybe only sensed.
Moses had an extreme sense of justice. We will discover how important this is... but God had to transform and reform it.
But now came much more than thoughts; a strong and intense voice was heard. And the call was urgent and divine.
And God said: MOSES MOSES!
Moses was there, God was there as well and watched him come closer. THE PERSON Moses was present. God had him where He wanted him. Not humiliated, not embarrassed, but in the place of attentive listening and intense challenging. Moses was surely used to professional and managerial challenges and his human capacity was far beyond average, but this was of another dimension altogether.
Moses thought he was ‘there’.
"Here I am”, he said. But was he?
God was fully present: “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Yes, it was God’s sphere and God made space for Moses.
The summit is open. And God moved on.
The second facet of Kingdom-assignments is THE DIRECTION.
“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” Ex 3,7-10
Moses brought a foot-note:
"Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
Moses struggled with the link between the person - his person - and the direction God had set for him. How could he possibly move on in his new task when he is not clear at all in his relationship with God. He is used to the royal court, but not the heavenly. His identity and its roots are shaken. God’s call stretched him beyond his human capacity. His professional education is under tremendous pressure and seems absolutely inadequate. Everything in him and about him is questioned by God’s direction-statement. Basically he is not sure about anything anymore and back in Egypt Pharaoh’s intelligence is looking for him... his person is WANTED. No way backward, no way forward. And on the other side of the ‘table’ is God.
God played his next move: “I will certainly be with you.” So God will be there because the person of Moses is of major significance. But God’s person is still stuck in a storm of thoughts: "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"
Then God ended the debate. The fact is that instead of negotiating with Pharaoh, Moses is negotiating with God.
But God was calm... in the course of time all these elements will come into perfect order. Soon the PERSON and the DIRECTION will become one. Maybe this is the real ‘power of One’. When it happened neither the pharaonic court and its military forces nor the demonic personalities present, governing and shaping Egypt could stop him and the nation of his forefathers from both plundering the Egyptians and leaving them behind as they walked out and followed Moses.
Even when he and his millions of followers reached the shores of the Red Sea, its waters separated and a dry road was made for them to cross. The same waters drowned the Egyptian army who pursued them.
The testimony of the bible is clear: “Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants and in the sight of the people.” Ex 11,3.
Something had happened to the PERSON and his life, and now his mind and heart were aligned with the DIRECTION.
“Thus all the children of Israel did; as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. And it came to pass, on that very same day, that the Lord brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their armies.” Ex 12,50-51.
Everything had been possible all the time, but now it became possible as all hindrances were removed from the road.
In the wilderness and through the fire God moved an individual into 'the corporate' by giving him a clear direction. Truly a world-event was about to take place. In the book of Exodus, where this process took place, we watch the birth of nothing less than the first free society and we hear God’s sovereign call to become the head of the nations.
Actually, God’s word to Abraham began to move forward aiming at the completion of his destiny:
“In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 12,3
“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 22,18
“In you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen 28,14
Truly world-history was in the making… but still a distance to go. God just positioned Moses, one individual. He was an important person. Now he became a strategic person.
Hear the call. You are an important person in God’s eyes.
Your next stage is to let God speak and settle the direction of your life. Then let it align you and even shape you… because when the person and the direction become one, you are more than just important, you have become strategic for the Kingdom and its agenda for your life and your environment.
There are workplaces, cities and nations on the other side of your alignment.
Let’s look at Samuel:
“Then the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. Then the Lord called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him). And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.” 1 Sam 3,1-9
Samuel was neither clear nor sharp. Cutely confused. But like in Moses’ situation God ignored totally the present life-condition of the person. Moses was a high-tempered well-educated Egyptian prince; Samuel is a young innocent boy, the fruit of a woman’s intensive and costly prayers - in a way very different. See from God’s perspective no difference: God is there and the person is present.
And God said: SAMUEL SAMUEL!
“Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" 1 Sam 3,10
“And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears”… quite similar to Moses’ “Here I am”.
But no, not really. It was two quite different “Here I am”. Therefore Samuel didn’t need a negotiation with God; he aligned immediately. Moses had a lot of Egyptian baggage, Samuel had none. And Eli the priest is not a problem or a hinderance.
The person Samuel was ready and God set a direction for his life.
"Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.” 1 Sam 3,11
Something had happened to the PERSON and his life, mind and heart were aligned with the DIRECTION.
And God had more to tell him:
“In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” 1 Sam 3,12-14
Obviously it is much more than a direction, it is a quite detailed and dramatic task, God had for Samuel. But he was not afraid; neither was Eli.
Samuel rose, and Eli resigned.
Samuel increased, and Eli decreased.
Heaven was open again over Shiloh because of Samuel.
Paul quoted Deut 19,14-15 in one of his letters to the believers in Corinth “You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to possess. "One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” and he wrote: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." 2 Cor 13,1
In this document we are restoring crucial spiritual landmarks.
So in order to settle the matter, we will call a third witness after Moses and Samuel, and his name is Saul... later Paul.
“Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground.” Acts 9,1-4
Saul is a cold, passionate and evil murderer.
Lying on the ground, hit by a hand unknown to him, he was caught by surprise… and blind.
God had the full attention of the man.
“And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”
The scene is set up. The person is present. God had entered the scene. Again; like for Moses and for Samuel. We have identified the reason for this peculiar move of God: important people can become strategic when God takes them.
And God said: SAUL SAUL!
“And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." … Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” Acts 9,5-9
God had Saul in His destiny-corner. Like God had Moses there as well. Samuel experienced a more peaceful version though. But the bottomline is identical.
Then comes the direction. This time in two stages.
First: "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Then: “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight." Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Acts 9,10-15
Something had happened to the person and his life. Now his mind and heart had to be aligned with the direction. And it happened as expected:
“And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, "Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?" But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket. And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus. Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.” Acts 9,17-31.
Now things are clear. God is sovereignly and powerfully at work and things are moving rapidly. New and increased clarity has reached us as we have looked into the lives of Moses, Samuel and Paul and discovered the roles of the person God calls; and the direction He sets for his and her life. Then a new issue emerges which catches our attention. Now that the generational landmark is restored beyond any doubt, we will look into this crucial issue.
King Solomon was conscious of the spiritual dynamics of a journey with God. He wrote: “The path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Prov 4,18. Light brings more light.
Let’s go back to the strategic journeys with God of Moses, Samuel and Paul and discover more.
“Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."' Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, 'The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.'” Ex 3,16-18
God’s plan has a third facet... Kingdom-assignments are not a work for one person, even for the right one moving in the right direction. God had a workforce in mind and it is called “you and the elders of Israel”.
The third facet is THE ALLIANCE.
Later God developed this alliance and included Aron, Joshua and more people whom He brought into His presence on Mt Sinai... and they saw Him, they ate and drank in His presence. Nobody could ever stop the task from being completed.
Samuel had a much stronger and clearer beginning than Moses and Paul. But later things became extremely complicated:
- His sons didn’t follow him
- The people asked for a king, and God gave them Saul
- Saul didn’t connect and consequently was unable to work with Samuel
- God rejected Saul and found David, a man after His heart
Hope came back to the nation and God could move again because David worked well with Samuel. These two men loved the same things and hated the same things. Finally Samuel has an alliance.
So here we have these three facets in every Kingdom-assignment:
See and learn!
Philip DuPont (May 2021)