In the Old Testament, Abraham, Moses and David are very prominent leaders who were appointed by god to lead his people and do his will. These men play great roles in fulfilling God’s will. They undergo many struggles, tests in fulfilling God’s will, God in return makes promises to them and their subjects and they are given covenants. They also communicate with god in various ways and enjoyed a personal relationship with God (Boice 5).
Fathers of Judaism
The similarity between Abraham, Moses and David is that they are fathers of Judaism. This kingdom was first set in what is presently known as the ‘fertile Crescent’. This kingdom started with Abraham although he was not a Jew. God called him to leave his land to a place he will show him and later he died and his grandson Jacob is made the father of the twelve Israel; tribes. These tribes become slaves in Egypt and Moses is sent by God to lead them out of Egypt to their promised land in Canaan. Moses was saved from death as an infant and grew up in a Pharaoh’s royal household. He led the Israelites through the desert saving them from one calamity after another but did not reach Canaan. In Canaan, the Israelites become lost again and God appoints King, Saul, for them. He does not please him and God chooses David, from the tribe of Judah, to be their King. David is in great favor with the Lord and his kingdom is a success and he makes promises with Him that his descendants will be the heir to the throne (Harris 7).
Abraham was a great noble leader. He grew up in Egypt where many gods were worshiped but he led a tribe and made them believe in his faith of one true God. He was ordered by the Lord to leave his native land near the river Euphrates to be made a father of a nation and he not question God. He leads his people from Ur to Canaan, then to Egypt and then back to Canaan. His people trusted him and followed everywhere without questions. Moses also was a great leader. He led the Hebrews out of the land of Egypt where they were slaves to their promised land. After reaching the Red Sea, the Israelites taunted Moses saying “it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert” Exodus 14:12 but Moses calmly told them not to be afraid and they will see the deliverance off the Lord. In the midst of their taunting and complaining and the battalions of Egypt following them, he assured them that the Lord will fight for them and they need not be afraid. This was great show of courage and bravely even in the face of danger. The Lord parts the sea and they all cross safely leaving the Egyptians to drown. Moses and his encounter many problems in the desert such as thirst, hunger and attack from enemies. The people of Israel lose faith in God and Moses many times and as always blames him and mocks God but, Moses always finds a way to save them and restore their faith in God. David on the other hand was anointed by God as a young boy herding his father’s sheep. Even before he became king, he herded his father’s sheep with diligence and courage fighting off wild animals that threatened the sheep. His great leadership stems from the absolute faith and passion he had for God’s course. When the Army of Philistines invade the land together with the giant Goliath scorning God and his people, the Israelites’ army trembles and holds back. David, just a boy, is filled with passion to stand up for God and says “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this philistine.” 1 Sam 17:32. He kills goliath with just a sling and stones and a lot of faith and trust in God. This trust and faith characterizes his entire leadership of Israelites. These three men show great leadership through their complete faith in God and their courage, the only difference is that Moses doubted God and for this he did not reach Canaan (Boice 9).
Relationship with God
The relationship between God and each of these men was of different in some ways. Abraham was a great man of faith even when his neighbors worship idols. He did god’s will without any questions; he did as He told him. When he was told to offer his son as sacrifice, it pained him a lot but he did not question God and God sent him a lamb to sacrifice instead. It is to be remembered that he had lived for many childless years but never did he question God like his wife Sarah did. Moses was different in that he questioned God right from the beginning. At the burning bush in his first encounter with God, he asks god who he is and in doubt of God’s choice he asks “who am I, that I should go to pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt” Exodus 3: 11. This changes eventually and he develops complete faith in God but due to his initial doubt, he does not see Canaan. God’s relationship with David is the most revealing of God’s true self. David had absolute faith and trust in God and his relationship with God is revealed by God’s words a man “after God’s own heart”. This shows David’s strong desire and untiring pursuit to know and understand God, do his will and experience his glory. He says that “one thing I have desired of the lord, that I will seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the delightfulness of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple” Psalm 27: 4. Despite all his faith in God, he made terrible mistakes but he always took responsibility for them, repented and renewed his relationship with God (Harris 45).
The three men were each given similar covenants by God though through different ways of communication. Abrahams covenant is found in the book of Genesis 12: 1-3. He is told to leave his native land and people to go to the land he will be shown where he will be blessed and made a great nation. Abraham was a man of prayer and communicated to God though prayer in which he did not ask questions. Moses is given the covenant in his very first encounter with God at the burning bush. This is described in Exodus 3: 8, 10 where God promises to save the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and give the fertile land of Canaan which is flowing with honey and milk. Moses also receives another covenant, the Ten Commandments, in the desert on behalf of the Israelites found in Exodus 20:1-17. Gods covenant with David is found in 2 Sam. 7: 12-13 where he promises to establish the kingdom of his offspring and make his descendants heirs to the throne of Israel (Boice 36).
The three men receive similar covenants through different ways. God makes his promise to Abraham through prayers as he was a man who communicated to God mostly through prayer. Moses on the other hand encountered God at first through physical form an angel in the burning bush. Here we see an exchange between God and Moses as he asks doubtful questions about his mission of saving the Israelites from slavery and leading them to their promised land. He later comes to talk to God directly and through prayer. David’s communication with God during this covenant is through a third party, Prophet Nathan (Boice 34).
Abraham, Moses and David were great servants of the Lord as they led His chosen people. They were given promises by God and enjoyed close relationships with God in different ways. Through their leadership, God communicated with them in different ways too but one thing is common in them is that they had complete faith in the Lord which gave them courage to lead people. Even if Moses showed doubt in the Lord at the beginning this changed completely.