Life-Study of Genesis, by Witness Lee

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Isaac, as the son of Abraham, was in the same way of contacting God as was his father. He also lived in the appearing of God and called upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 26:2, 24-25). He did not only inherit all the blessings of his father, but also his way to enjoy God.


Jacob, as the third generation of the called race, was eventually led by God not to live by his supplanting way, but by the same way of contacting God as his grandfather and his father did. After being dealt with by the Lord for a considerable time, he learned to live in the appearing of God and to call upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 35:1, 9; 48:3). To him, this was not only the inherited way, but also the way to which he was led by God’s discipline.


Moses was a most interesting person. He was born at a time when the Israelites were under the persecution of the Egyptians. God sovereignly placed him in the palace of Pharoah, and he was brought up as a member of the royal family, as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses learned of the sufferings of his people under the hand of the Egyptians, probably hearing of them from his nursing mother, who was actually his natural mother. Such reports undoubtedly stirred Moses’ heart. Perhaps Moses said, "The Egyptians have been persecuting my people. I will do something to help them." Although Moses had a good heart, that heart was a heart of knowledge, a heart of death. This is the situation among many Christians today. Many have a good heart. They are stirred up and want to do something for God. But Moses acted in his own way and in his own strength. The result was failure, and he was deeply disappointed. Eventually, Moses realized that he could not do anything; he was disappointed to such an extent that he gave up. It seems that he said, "I had such a good heart for my people, but God didn’t help me. God did not appreciate my efforts. Since God is not with me, I will forget about the situation and go to the wilderness." Although he was concerned about the welfare of the children of Israel, he was disheartened by his failure and he fled to the wilderness, where, lonely and despondent, he became a keeper of the flock. Moses, the man who was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and who was mighty in words and deeds (Acts 7:22), was now a little shepherd in the wilderness, a defeated and dejected man.

One day, in the midst of his disappointment, God came. God appeared to Moses in a vision of a burning bush, a bush that burned without being consumed (Exo. 3:2, 16). Moses was surprised and turned aside to see this bush. It was as if God was saying to Moses, "Moses, you must be like this burning bush. Do not burn by yourself or act by yourself. You had a good heart, but you acted in the wrong way." We may use the example of a modern automobile. If we want to move the automobile, it is foolish for us either to pull it or push it. That will only wear us out. We should use gasoline as our source of power. When the gasoline burns, the automobile moves. We must operate the vehicle in this way. Likewise, Moses learned to cease from his own knowledge, his own way, his own energy, and his own activities. Moses began to live, as his grandfathers had done, in the presence and the appearing of the Lord. No longer did he act out of himself. From that time onward, he was one with God. For the leading of the Israelites on their journey, the Lord told him, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." And he said to the Lord, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence" (Exo. 33:13-15). This shows that Moses knew the necessity of the Lord’s presence for his work for the Lord. He was acting in the presence of God.

After Moses had brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, God called him to the mountaintop, where he remained for forty days. While he was on the mountaintop, he was thoroughly infused with the shekinah glory of God. As he descended along the side of the mountain, the glory of God radiated from his face (Exo. 34:29). On this mountaintop Moses experienced the full enjoyment of God as the tree of life. Although the tree of life had disappeared from unbelieving men, it nevertheless appeared to a person like Moses. Moses enjoyed God as the tree of life on the mount of glory.

Moses, like Noah, received a vision of God’s building. While he was in the glory on the mountain, God gave him a detailed pattern of His dwelling place on the earth (Exo. 25:9). If we are one with God as we minister and work for Him, our work will not be a labor, but an enjoyment. When I speak for the Lord, I enjoy Him immensely. Once I have completed a message, I feel satisfied. Every ministry that is of God and according to God is actually a kind of food to the minister. Moses served God and enjoyed God in this way.

(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)