Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lessons from Moses

An old man stood passively in the silent stillness, a staff in his hand. His white beard flowed down to his waist, brushing against the linen coat he wore. His wizened features were solemn, almost sad, as he watched the sun come over the horizon to light up the sand-filled desert for yet another day in the wilderness.

He stood there, re-thinking all that had happened in his long life so far, how fleeting the years were, how soon the seasons of life had changed.

Turning, he looked over the millions of orderly tents that formed the camp of Israel. Then, he looked before him, and saw the pillar of fire – the confirmation of God's presence and protection to him and the people he was leading to "The Promised Land."

They were so many of them.

He began to pray, asking for guidance, patience, and strength to endure another day of wandering in the wilderness.

The camp was quiet in the darkness of early morning.

This man was, in fact, a miracle in himself. God had preserved him through so many times of peril, so many failings, and so many dangers. The king of Egypt had tried to kill him, armies had come from different lands to try and stop him, he had almost been killed by God himself – but God was merciful to him. He wasn't supposed to have lived past the day of his birth, but God spared him.

God was indeed very gracious to him, as he is to all of us when we make mistakes. Moses was human, and thus, he also made mistakes in his life. He killed the Egyptian who was beating one of his brethren and struck the rock in the desert instead of speaking to it. He even asked God to send anyone but himself to Egypt. But God had patience, and made a way through everything that could stop his chosen people from getting through.

When Moses explained to God (who already knew) that he "couldn't speak well" God replied with the question "Who made thy mouth?" - Which is a reminder to us that God can do anything with anything.

When the red sea blocked the path, God moved it. Proving that: "Even the winds and the sea obey Him."

When Pharaoh wouldn't let Israel go: God used it to show that "The Lord, He is God," and that he was (and is) in control of everything.

When there was no bread in the desert, God provided Manna.

When there was no water, God created it for them.

When there was no way, He made a way. Nothing was impossible while God was leading them.

Moses turned and looked into the quiet tent his family shared, making sure no one had stirred yet. After he was satisfied that they were all asleep, he fastened the tent flap and began to walk, slowly, steadily toward the trees that grew on the far end of the oasis, about a quarter of a mile away.

Walking in the sand reminded him of herding his Father-in-law's sheep in the desert. He had only been about forty years old when he had first attained that position. Young, with a quick temper and a new bride, he had been a shepherd, protecting and leading his flock – like he now led and protected his people, the Israelites.

The sheep were easy to lead, trusting and following without questions. But these people, they were a different story. Their lack of faith, their unthankful wanting… They had eaten angel's food, and grumbled because they didn't have meat.

So many mistakes… time after time, after time, they had temped God's wrath – and God was still faithful, still made a way of escape for them when one was needed.

Then, Moses remembered his life in the palace, when all the luxuries of Egypt were his for the having. He had been trained as a prince, he had lived like a prince. What would have happened if he had stayed in Egypt and not left his life of power and ease? What if he hadn't killed the Egyptian task master that day so long ago?

But it had happened, and he fled for his life, leaving behind his wealth, position and home for a sandy desert because of one mistake. Oh, but if he could live it over, if he would have waited for God to show him what to do! He would have had patience, he would have waited! – But there was no second chance, and he fulfilled God's plan a different way from how it would have been fulfilled in the public places of Egypt.

But, Moses had grown close to God through all of this. Even though he may not have understood everything, God did tell him what he needed to know – and Moses trusted Him with his life. You might say that the trials had drawn them together, but it was really God who let the trials happen, drawing Moses to him.

The old man shook his head, for the millionth time, over all that he had done. The sun was beginning to rise now, and the air was already warmer, confirming the arrival of a new day. Who but God knew what the day would hold? – But God knew, and that was enough.

Moses sat down under a little bush and watched as the sun came up fully and the camp began to come alive. He kept thinking through all the earlier years of his life, and thanking God for his faithfulness and longsuffering kindness.


Bailey said...

I know what prompted this! :D

And you did a fantastic job. I find it slightly, sadly ironic that Moses who insisted he could not lead Israel to the Promised Land never made it himself. But isn't that the point? He fulfilled his purpose...and in God's plan, He both led the Israelites and did not enter the Promised Land.

I think that acquiesence shows a great faith -- being willing to do anything, anything at all, for God's glory.

Bethany said...

Was this for school?

Anna said...

Yes it was for school. :D (Which is why Bailey knows all about it....right Bailey?)

Maria said...

Amazing Anna! I'm sure you got an A+! We were talking about Moses today! How thrilling. Well, we were talking more about Joshua and Jerico, but Moses was also discussed! See ya tomorrow!

Bailey said...

Yup, I sure do. But I wrote a journal about the Israelites instead of lessons from Moses' life.

And let me tell you, I'm not publishing it. ;o)

Anna said...

Lol:) I saw that option....and considered it....but it looked too long. With my type of journal-writing, I would have had a lot more than three pages written!

Maria - it was nice to see you today! Have fun in Jericho!

Maria said...

I love your new background girl! I think I have been inspired to get a new one too! I love it!

Kara said...

Maria, ikr? She did like all of the picking outs!

- If you do give your blog a new theme, I can't wait to see it!


Anna said...

Thanks Maria! - And thanks for all of your help Kara!