The Act of Greatness

Number 12:3
“(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”

Moses is no doubt one of the greatest men in the Scriptures. The verse above is the result of God’s defense of Moses after Miriam and Aaron spoke against him. God pointed out Moses’ meekness because Moses could have used his position and power to have both Miriam and Aaron killed, but he didn’t. In fact, the act that revealed Moses’ greatness is found in verse 13. This verse says, “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.” God smote Miriam with leprosy, and Moses prayed when he could have applauded God’s judgment. This act of prayer revealed why Moses was such a great leader.

This story reminds me of three other great people. The first is Job. Job’s friends came to comfort him, but instead became his greatest critics. While Job was suffering the loss of everything, these men preceded to accuse and malign Job falsely. Job could have easily gotten bitter, but he didn’t. Instead, it says about him in Job 42:10, “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends”

The second person that comes to mind is Stephen. Stephen was preaching a sermon in hopes that the crowd who crucified Jesus would get saved. This crowd of people turned against Stephen and dragged him outside the city and began to stone him. Stephen could have easily gotten angry with these people, but didn’t allow their actions to cause him to retaliate. Instead, he prayed in Acts 7:60, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.”

The third person I am reminded of is our Saviour, Jesus Christ. When the people cursed, maligned, spat upon, and crucified Jesus, He chose to forgive. Jesus could have easily called the angels of Heaven to have these people killed, but He chose not to act according to the vicious acts of these people. Rather, He prayed in Luke 23:34, “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

The greatness of these four people is revealed when they chose to pray for those who tried to hurt them. Great people don’t use their power to destroy people, but they use their power with God to forgive and try to restore them. Each of these people had the opportunity to retaliate, but each of them loved those who were hurting them and wanted these people to be helped by God.

What caused these people to have such a meek spirit that they would pray for the healing of the sick souls of those who were accusing, maligning, and in most cases, trying to have them killed? The answer is that they knew these people were acting in their hateful way because sin had corrupted them. Each of these people knew that if sin was removed that those who were trying to hurt them would end up helping them.

Maybe the greatest example of this is the Apostle Paul. Before Paul was saved, his agenda in life was to have Christians killed. However, it was after he got saved and the sin was removed from his life that his agenda in life was to help people and the cause of Christ instead of trying to have them destroyed.

My friend, you never achieve greatness by trying to hurt people; you only achieve greatness when you forgive those who have deeply hurt you and pray for God to help them. Let me ask you; how great are you or will you be?

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