Monday, April 12, 2010

A Conversation with Moses

Reaching the summit, Joshua and Caleb breathed in the panoramic view with amazement. It was their first long look at the promised land from the vantage point of a mountaintop. The air was fresh and clear, and time itself seemed to slow down and catch it’s breath with Joshua and Caleb.
Moses sat down and rested by a large boulder to absorb the scenery. “Seeing this, I can’t help but think of Abraham.”

Joshua snapped out of his daydream. “Of course,” he replied. “What about him in particular?”

“Two things,” replied Moses. “His father Terah was told to leave the city of Ur and go to Canaan first, but he never made it. He settled half way. That’s all we know about him. A timely reminder, don’t you think?”

“Yes,” replied Joshua, knowing full well what Moses was implying. Compromise was not an option. No matter how difficult the task, Canaan must be conquered.

“What’s the other thing?” asked Caleb.

“Well, we know that Abraham was born into a family that worshipped many gods,” continued Moses. “Somewhere between his journey from Ur to Canaan he found the One True God.”

“We don’t know exactly how?” asked Joshua.

“Other than God simply revealed himself,” replied Moses. “What’s more intriguing, is why Abraham? And how he made the inner journey from idolatry to faith, without any knowledge of God’s law I might add. He was far from perfect, as you know. If you like, that is the true miracle.”

Joshua brooded over Moses‘ words. Something didn’t add up. In fact, it never really did. If
Moses was going to die today, there would never be another time to ask.

Joshua threw caution to the wind and blurted out his inner-most thoughts. “Through Abraham's Seed all nations shall be blessed?”

“Not the Canaanites,” chuckled Caleb.

“That’s was is written, right?” Joshua continued.

“Yes,” replied Moses, “What’s your point?”

“Surely God wouldn’t want to destroy the Midianites and Canaanites, and all the other nations he asks us to conquer?” Joshua continued. “If he can pardon Abraham’s sins, why does he judge others?”

“There’s a simple answer to that,” replied Moses, “but it probably wont satisfy you.”

“Let me guess,” said Joshua. “God is God, he judges who he wants, when he wants?”

“Yes,” replied Moses, “but truth be told, He’s bigger than that. He’s far bigger than you or I could ever imagine. What we know of Him is tiny compared with what we don’t know of Him. And that’s where things get very interesting.”

“Yes but calling it a ‘mystery’ is cold comfort to someone on the sharp end of Phinehas’ spear, don’t you think?” asked Joshua.

“Not necessarily,” replied Moses. “Think about it. God hides himself, so that we might find Him. He wants us to seek Him. I find that fascinating.”

“At times, I find it disturbing,” replied Joshua. “But maybe because I'm afraid of myself. My own heart is not pure.”

“I’m sorry, you’ve lost me,” interrupted Caleb, “both of you. Just believe. It’s as simple as that.”
“Caleb’s right,” said Moses. “Joshua, be strong and courageous. Wherever you walk, the land is yours.”

Joshua could see something more in Moses' eyes but he dared not ask. There was always a distance between himself and the great prophet, perhaps because he could never truly understand what it meant to have experience all that Moses had. Joshua slowly turned his back to Moses and joined Caleb to gaze once again on Jericho.

“If God is for us, what’s there to fear?” said Caleb.

Joshua went to say something but kept quiet. It no longer seemed appropriate.

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