The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;
I. CONSIDER MOSES AS A LEADER AND LAWGIVER. You are to observe that both Moses and Christ proved their commission by miracles — a thing that cannot be affirmed of any among the prophets of Israel. They both came to an enslaved race; they both set loose the prisoners; and, when proof of their authority was demanded, they both wrought wonders beyond human power — wonders which equally showed their dominion over the elements, and over life and death. Though one used his might in destroying, and the other only in works of benevolence, yet there was much the same opposition raised against the one and the other — the magicians contending with Moses, and evil spirits contending with Christ. And the deliverances effected by the two were singularly alike, bearing evidently the one towards the other, the relation of type and antitype. Moses broke the yoke from the necks of the captive people; Christ the yoke from the necks of the whole human race. But when Moses made a passage for Israel out of Egypt, all danger was not escaped, nor all difficulties surmounted. The former tyrants pursued the free tribes, and sought to recover the ascendency they had lost; and though Christ hath redeemed us from the power of Satan, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers, who knows not that evil spirits, eager to regain their former dominion, pursue those that follow the Captain of Salvation, and strive, with ceaseless energy, to prevent their final escape? When Moses led Israel out of Egypt, he did indeed tell them of a rich and goodly land, which God appointed as their inheritance, but he did not at once put them in possession of it; on the contrary, he conducted them into a dreary wilderness, where they were exposed to continual trials, and harassed with various afflictions. Is it not thus, also, with regard to our redemption? By Christ we hear of a mighty Canaan, reserved for the followers of the Redeemer, but there is not an immediate entrance; a wide desert has to be traced, set with snares and peopled with enemies, and it is only through much tribulation that we can take possession of the heritage. It is not only as a leader, but equally as a lawgiver, that Moses bears a striking resemblance to Christ.
II. But we do not think that it was in his capacity as a leader and a lawgiver that Moses most eminently typified Christ. We go on to observe that MOSES ACTED AS A MEDIATOR between God and the Israelites; and if as mediator, then was he indeed like the Lord our Redeemer. The name of mediator is expressly given by St. Paul to Moses; for you will remember that, in writing to the Galatians, be says, "The law was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." The reference here is unquestionably to Moses; and, therefore, his claim to being reckoned a mediator rests upon evidence which admits of no dispute.
III. OBSERVE, MORE MINUTELY, THE PARTICULARS OF MOSES' LIFE. With regard to the very infancy of the two whom we wish to set before you as type and antitype, you will remember that Moses was wonderfully preserved when in childhood — preserved from Pharaoh's order; and thus was Christ preserved when Herod slew all the children in Bethlehem. Moses fled from his country to escape the wrath of the king, and then there came to him a message, "Go, return into Egypt for all the men are dead which sought thy life." Christ fled in like manner, and then there came a message, in almost the same words, to Joseph, "Return, for they are dead which sought the young child's life." Moses, as we before said, contended with the magicians, and forced them to acknowledge his power — Christ contended with evil spirits, and obtained from them a similar confession. Immediately before the emancipation of Israel, Moses instituted the Passover — immediately before redeeming mankind, Christ instituted the Lord's Supper. When Moses had to appoint elders, he appointed seventy — when Christ chose His disciples, He also chose seventy. Into the land that was to be conquered Moses sent twelve men as spies — when the world was to be subdued, Christ sent twelve men as apostles. How did Moses overcome Amalek? By extending both his arms, and keeping them stretched out. How did Christ subdue all men? Only by suffering His hands to be nailed to the Cross. As a prophet, Moses had to deal with a barbarous generation, who were not to be won over to the obeying of God; and who, consequently, with the exception of two, all perished in the wilderness, in forty years. And was not Christ sent to an obdurate people? Moses had to endure ill-treatment from his own family — his brother Aaron and his sister Miriam rebelled against him; and we are told of Christ, "Neither did His brethren believe on Him." Moses fed the people miraculously in the wilderness; Christ fed thousands miraculously in the desert. And, in making a covenant of blood between God and the people, did he not again represent the Redeemer, who, by His own blood, hath "brought nigh those who were sometime afar off"? It was not until Moses was dead that the people could enter the promised land; it was only by the death of Christ that the kingdom of heaven was opened to believers. It was, in one sense, for the iniquities of the people that Moses died. "The Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance; but I must die." We need not tell you that it was for the sins of the world that Christ poured out His soul unto death, in the fulness of His strength, when His eye was not dim nor His natural force abated. Did Moses go up in the sight of the people to the top of Mount Nebo, on purpose to die? and when Christ was yet in the flower of His age, unworn by any sickness, did He go up in the presence of the nation, to the summit of Calvary, on purpose to endure death? Before he went up to die, Moses comforted the disconsolate tribes with an assurance that God would raise them up another prophet; before He went up to die, Christ said to His desponding disciples, "I will not leave you comfortless; I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter." And, to add but another point of correspondence, Moses was buried, but no one knew where his body lay; Christ was buried, and yet were not His remains in vain sought for by the Jews?
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;