REFORMATION RUMBLINGS “But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses...he said, ‘The Lord rebuke you’ ” [Jude, v. 9].
BUFF SCOTT, JR.
Did The Devil Know Something
He Wasn’t Telling?
We have to wonder why Satan was so interested in the body of Moses. I’m convinced he knew something he wasn’t telling. That made no difference, however, because the archangel Michael knew why he—the devil—wanted the body. I think Satan knew the children of Israel, if left to bury their leader, would build an idol of him and bow down to and worship it.
I base that conjecture on Israel’s history of idolatry and her tendency to bow down to and worship inorganic images and icons. Consequently, a squabble arose between the prince of darkness and God’s angelic envoy, Michael, over his body. So the Lord, through His archangel, buried Moses. “And no one knows the
[exact] place of his burial to this day” [Deut. 34:5-10].
Remember the golden calf? Moses’ trek on the Mountain of God
was delayed. The children of Israel felt they needed a “god to go before them,” so Aaron, Moses’ brother, made them an idol in the shape of a calf and they corrupted themselves by bowing down to it. As Moses descended the mountain, God told him, “They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol in the shape of a calf and have bowed down to it” [Exodus 32:8-10].
When Moses arrived in the camp, he burned the idol, ground it into powder, scattered it upon the water and made the Israelites drink the bitter liquid. This is how God felt about their statues. And if Moses were here on earth today and discovered all of the statues and idols and other religious icons the Papacy and Protestant sects have made and promoted for centuries, I’m convinced his anger would be kindled just as strongly.
Idolatrous worship has not changed through the centuries. Man still builds idols “to go before them.” Take a good look at our fancy church edifices. Believers are not content to allow the God of creation to pave their way through the trials of life. They need something they can see, touch, feel, bow down to, and place their allegiance in. The great apostle Paul said it far better than I can say it when he accused idolaters of “exchanging the truth of God for a lie, and worshipping and serving created things rather than the Creator” [Rom. 1:25].
So, yes, it seems that God Himself officiated at the burial of His servant Moses to prevent the children of Israel from building an idol of him and bowing down to it. Sadly, however, even today idols and images are still created and bowed down to. But God will have the last word. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them and serve them” [Exodus 20:4-5].
“Beware lest you act corruptly by making a carved image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, whether in the likeness of male or female, and bow down to them and serve them” [Deut. 4:16-19].