Faithfulness is a fruit of worship. It is born from appreciation for the honors and claims of the Lordship of Christ. Our Lord Jesus is exalted to exclusive glory .... "far above every principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but also in that which is to come" (Eph 1:22). His position of glory provokes praise, faith, and submission, resulting in a spirit of reality, reliability, and perseverance in exercised hearts. Being faithful, therefore, is a moral duty to the Son of God who purchased us with His own blood.
Three things affected Moses' ministry: first, various revelations of God's glory to him were engraved in his heart; second, the uniqueness of the design of the tabernacle where God would dwell in the midst of Israel; and thirdly, his honor at being called by God." ... My servant." He never lost this spirit while administering government for God. With these in his heart, he was faithful to the stewardship entrusted to him. Heaven's evaluation of his service was,"...thus did Moses: according to all that the Lord commanded him."
I wish to emphasis three things that marked Moses' ministry for God as an example for faithfulness to the Lord Jesus in God's assembly today.
A. FAITHFULNESS TO A DESIGN ENTRUSTED TO HIM
The order and design of the tabernacle were beautiful, commanding respect both in their building and transportation. Several times during its construction, we read that Moses built "...according to the pattern showed to him in the mount." Reverence and submission governed Moses as he served his God. Let us be inspired to a kindred commitment in assembly service.
God's assembly as described in 1 Corinthians is a beautiful order. The glories of our Savior producing unity are seen in chapters 1-3: In chapter 4 He is seen as the Evaluator, determining servants responsibilities. Chapters 5 and 6 display His Lordship in governing behavior and disciplines. He is seen as the Counselor of situation ethics in chapters 7-9. Chapter 11 teaches His Headship and Lordship, as male and female display submission to Christ. We are reminded in chapters 12-14 that He is the Administrator of abilities and activities, and in chapter 15 that He is the Center of all doctrine. Christ is all in all and is extolled by this divine pattern. We gather in His name, unto His person and for the upholding of His truth. To alter this pattern compromises the honor God has designed that the assembly should give to her Lord.
Believers and times change because of age and circumstances. Assembly design being divine requires no changes. New believers entrusted to us must see a corresponding Christ-like character to this pattern. It conveys Christ to the pleasure of God and in His unchangeableness to the needs of a perishing world. Let us then obediently in simplicity of faith, teach the design and follow its directives. Perseverance in commitment is our privilege and calling. We express, thus, a faithful spirit to our worthy Lord.
B. FAITHFULNESS IN FULFILLING DUTIES AS GOD'S SERVANT
Moses received instructions from God for appointing overseers and gifted men for the building and erecting of the tabernacle (Ex 31:1-11). None were self-appointed or graduates from Egypt's schools for this work. God saw character he could trust and gave them ability to be developed in His work. These teachers instructed others in the preparing of materials used in the service of God. When the work was completed, "Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the Lord had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them" (Ex 39:43). God graciously gave His approval to this faithful work. "And the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle" (Ex 40:34).
Paul's instruction to Timothy in his 1st epistle concerns assembly function in Ephesus. In chapter one, guidelines are given which are intended to ensure sound doctrine and the edification of saints. This control of teaching and teachers will preserve from self-commended men. Character is seen as vital to divine commendation in order to be entrusted with commission. This is to be evaluated by oversight and communicated to the assembly.
Chapter two teaches the duty of assembly prayer. This pattern for public prayer by our brethren is viewed as vital to assembly testimony in God's purposes for the world. Following this there is a pattern given for sisters to complement the glory of the Lord in the assembly activities. Faithfulness both in attendance and intelligent exercise for the burden of this meeting is indeed honoring to the Lord Jesus. Many burdened hearts are encouraged in a godly prayer meeting.
Chapter three instructs the assembly in the recognition of brethren fitted of God as overseers and deacons. It is a God given burden of heart. This call accompanies character and reputation respected by the saints and necessary for the work. God speaks of it as "a good work," (a labor which communicates good to others). Such faithful, consistent shepherds are valued and readily listened to by the flock of God.
The fourth, fifth and sixth chapters exhort to trustworthy, consistent relationships between brethren and sisters in united service for God in the assembly. Instructively, these exhortations commence in chapter four with a man in the sanctuary and his mind in the Book. A faithful pursuit of such devotion assures; "...thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee" (Ch 4:15).
Let us then, beloved, remember our moral responsibility to be reliable and constant in fulfilling the work God has entrusted to us. Faithfulness to the meetings, to gospel activities, and to the needs of the saints is the lifeline of prosperity. The Lord's honor is seen, His power is unfettered, and His heart's pleasure is realized in the praises and perseverance of His people.
C. FAITHFULNESS IN MAINTAINING DISCIPLINES FOR GOD'S GLORY
The disciplines relative to the tabernacle in Moses' experience began the day he descended from Sinai. An altar and idol (the golden calf) had been erected by Aaron (Ex 32:5). The discipline of separation from Egypt's ornaments and idolatry followed. The Levites and others turned to Moses and the altar to be built for God (Ex 32:26 & 33:7). May we readily be counted with those who associate with the altar of Calvary! The corrupting altar of the world with which we once were associated is stained with the blood of our Redeemer.
Moses was also faithful in administering the care of priestly and Levitical service. He was both meek of spirit and constantly kind in directing this service. He must charitably supply for their households and regulate their activity (Num 18:24-32). Some born in the priestly family were unable to minister publicly. Levites called by God to full time service had no "diplomatic immunity." Each branch of service must faithfully be tended with respect for the holiness of God and the dignity of the testimony (Lev 21:16-24).
The shepherd heart developed in Moses gave him wisdom and loving care for this responsibility. Such hearts and hands must faithfully handle similar disciplines in God's assembly today.
Romans 12:1 to 16:27 teach dedication and loving care necessary for the disciplines of our lives and testimony today. How instructive that two altars, God's and the world's confront us at the opening of chapter 12:1-2. It is Levitical service in view throughout this chapter. We bring to the altar what God has sanctified for His glory, (v 3). From that verse to the end of the chapter, the Levite is serving his God. In each area, faithfulness is emphasized, "according to the proportion"; "wait on ministering," "with simplicity"(liberality), and "diligence." The emphasis is the same in each following section relating to brotherly love (vss. 9-14), and "...living peaceably with all men" (vss. 15-21).
Chapter 13 requires the discipline of righteousness before the world, for "...love worketh no ill to his neighbor" (v 10). The chapters that follow, 14-16, present the disciplines of relationships between believers. Faithfulness to the Lord's honor and appreciation of being in a fellowship regulate attitudes in our homes and our hearts. Finally Paul lists in chapter 16 commendable saints who were consistent in their service and sacrificially faithful in serving God.
Faithfulness is as the sweet smelling spices from the garden of the espoused bride in Song of Solomon 4:12-16. He saw her as totally committed to his pleasure and honor. May it be our commitment for the beauty and prosperity of the assembly of God, to be faithful, consistent, and loyal to the worthy honor of our glorified Lord. We have the high honor of association with the Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of an assembly of saints gathered unto His lofty name! Let us worshipfully give pleasure to our great God, being faithful to His design, our duties, and the disciplines of His service.
"Bye and bye, when I look on His face,
Glorious face, once thorn-shadowed face,
Bye and bye when I look on His face
I'll wish I had given Him more."