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"Says Who"

Authority has always been a big deal. The people in charge ave changed nations and the world. They have rallied their citizens to heroic deeds and have sown hatred and murder. They have dominated world history and civilizations around the globe and those in scripture, either for better or worse.

When Moses was summoned to be God's leader for Israel he recognized that he lacked any authority to go before the Pharaoh of Egypt and make demands. Moses posed the question, "Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring out Israel?" (Ex. 3:11). Surely some of his reluctance is simply the humility of the man. However, Moses was also asking a far more fundamental question; by whose authority would he act? God said Moses was acting directly for God.

Over the course of time, Moses would have his authority challenged many times. He was challenged by a rebellious band of Israelites under the leadership of Korah (Num. 16). The challenge of Moses by his own brother, Aaron and his older sister Miriam gives us impressive insight.

(Num. 12:4-8) Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of meeting." So the three of them came out. .. When they had both come forward, He said, "Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. "Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; With him I speak mouth to mouth, Even openly, and not in dark sayings, And he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant, against Moses?"

Moses was a man who was acting with the full authority of God. Anyone who challenged Moses was also directly challenging God. I am sure that both Miriam and Aaron had a difficult time coping with this important change in their brother.

Jesus was also shown to be a man endowed with the direct authority of God (Mt. 17:5) Even Nicodemus noted that there was no way that Jesus could have done the miracles except by the authority of God (Jn. 3:2). The ultimate claim came from Jesus himself. (Mat 28:18-20) "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go make disciples of all the nations... teaching them all things I commanded you." Those who would refuse to accept the instructions of scripture, of the apostles, are acting against a great authority. They oppose God Himself.

- Tim Orbison


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