Minding Moses

 

Words have the power to create pictures in the imagination.  Let me show you what I mean.

As an eagle stirs up its nest
Hovers over its young
Spreading out its wings, taking them up
Carrying them on its wings 
Deuteronomy 32:11

 

Eagle nest

 

My favourite preacher once linked this Scripture with Genesis 1:2

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 

Eagle 2

Again, a picture, implying a sense of a brooding or hovering Presence over a situation, like an eagle with its huge wings over and above and on high, waiting and keeping watch.
It is a comfort to know that God hovers over us, He is ever-near, and especially so in times of need and disturbance.

My imagination got a hold of this picture, and it got me thinking about the concept of brooding and hovering, and then the writing, and the mind, and abilities of the person who wrote these words – Moses.

So, ignited by the words of my favourite preacher who had painted a picture of an eagle brooding over a nest of her chicks, who were about to be disturbed from their comfort, and taught how to fly,  led me to read the whole Song of Moses  from the book of Deuteronomy 32  – and that is when I became more mindful of Moses.

Observing the lives of the people who have walked and talked with God, and although it is their experience, it does open up little windows into knowing more of God, other than our own experiences.

If you carefully consider him you will find his story is an epic story of enormous proportion.    What caught my attention was that Moses had written the first five books of the Bible.     Genesis, which begins with the creation story, is amazing, so amazing !    How did Moses know all this, how could he write all this down.   What knowledge and insight he must have had at that time.

In case you don’t know, or do and only need to be reminded, Moses was a Hebrew baby, born at a time when all male babies were to be killed and thrown into a crocodile infested river.   Be he was rescued by an Egyptian princess, and raised in the palace of  a Pharaoh.    Egypt was rich powerful and the centre of  skill and knowledge.  Moses, growing up in the palace, had access to all this, and was held in a position of high esteem.
The Hebrew people were brought to submission and fell under great oppression by the Egyptians.   Moses, a man of justice and integrity despised oppression came to the rescue of a beaten Hebrew slave-man, and killed the harsh slave-driver, but had to flee to the back end of the desert to survive.

There he spent forty years in the wilderness to get the self poured out of him.   He had, after all been a man of great, knowledge, power and wealth, having the best of the best at his finger tips.
Solitary and isolation will do the trick of diminishing the self.
Then a burning bush caught his attention, and being attentive to the voice of God, it sent him back to Egypt on a mission to deliver the Hebrew people of God from their enslaved bondage of oppression.

It was from Egypt that the great Exodus proceeded to bring the people of God from being prisoners to freedom,  from slavery to the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Is there a hint of another spiritual story of deliverance here, was this not too the mission of Jesus ?   A shadow parallel story of deliverance ?
If viewed as a literary work the Bible story is outstanding at linking themes and events in a prophetic way, to bring the whole narrative of God’s story in one woven way to an eventual conclusion, in other words there is a beginning and an end, and many many stories in between.   Even, I suspect the story of me and of you woven into the grand tapestry of His artistry.
But I will leave that thought for now.

However back to the man Moses.
Moses knew God, for how else could he have accomplished the huge task of leading and organising thousands of men, women and children, and their livestock out in the desert.   He set up a tabernacle, with tents, utensils, patterns and designs and all the details of what is required to create a place of worship.
Perhaps the tabernacle and the foundations of the temple of God in heaven, as a replica on earth ?  Just another thought !

He gave us the Ten Commandments – and the  laws to live a practical and meaningful life.    He wrote down moral, legal and social laws to live by.   He wrote down the history of the journey they had undertaken.
It stands today for us as a micro chip of what our own spiritual journeys may entail.     So much we can learn from minding Moses.

He wrote the book of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.   He was a great scholar and a great writer imparting the wisdom of God to the people of God.   Setting the very bases of the Jewish faith, a people of faith in God, the first foundation layer of the Christian faith.

The Song of Moses gives glimpses of the reverence Moses had for God, for he knew Him for so long, and so well, and had accomplished what God had called him to do.
Moses was such a man of faith !
He performed powerful miracles in the courts of Pharaoh, and the land of Egypt, to persuade a stubborn ruler to let the people of God go.  The plagues of Egypt that have a reflection in the book of Revelation.
He knew God at the parting of the Red Sea.  Now just think of that for a moment, stretching out his rod over the waters, and they part so that dry land is found for the multitude to cross over.  I know we know the story, but do we stop long enough to think on these miracles ?
When the complaining people longed for the delicacies of Egypt, Moses prayed and God provided manna, and quails from the sky, to still the cravings of old appetites.
When they came to a place of thirst, Moses struck a rock and water gushed out, so the people and their livestock could drink and be refreshed.
Moses knew God as “I AM WHO  I AM”  –  whatever you need Me to be, I AM.

In the closing verses of Deuteronomy 34 Moses is acknowledged thus :
10.  But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face
11.  in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land,
12.   and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Of all the great men this world has even known, I think, Moses must surely be one of the greatest, and we would do well to be mindful of Moses, his story, his words, and his walk with El Shaddai, the Almighty God.

The  Song of Moses

Ascribe greatness to our God
He is the Rock.  His work is perfect,
For all His ways are justice
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.

No wonder he could pen the words of the song, in Deuteronomy 32 – ascribing greatness to God, for he knew God in His wrath,  and knew God in His mercy.

 

angel feather

The Servant King

 

cross-crown-thorns

 

Reflecting on the Easter story, Graham Kenrick’s song The Servant King came to mind.
Jesus is the Servant King.   He came to show the way, to serve, and not to be served, and yet He is the One  ‘who flung the stars into space’.

The words of this song bring a magnified perspective of Jesus. I hope your will ‘see’ it too as you read these beautiful words of worship this Easter season.

The Servant King

From heaven You came a helpless babe
Entered our world, Your glory veiled
Not to be served, but to serve
And give Your life that we might live.

(Chorus)
This is our God, the Servant King
He calls us now to follow Him
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.


There in the garden of tears,

My heavy load He chose to bear,
His heart with sorrow was torn,
Yet not My will but Yours He said

Come see His hands and His feet
The scars that speak of sacrifice
Hands that flung stars into space
to cruel nails surrendered

So let us learn how to serve
And in our lives enthrone Him
Each others needs to prefer
For it is Christ we’re serving.

The Easter story is a story of God’s love, almost unfathomable.  It is for all mankind and for all generations.
It brings us in touch with suffering and sorrow, and softens hard hearts.
It breaks the chains of guilt and shame and offers healing, wholeness and the abundant life.
Isaiah 53:5  releases the understanding and meaning of the Cross of Christ, and by faith, it is ours.

But because of our sins he was wounded,
beaten because of the evil we did
We are healed by the punishment he suffered
            made  whole by the blows he received.

      Red rose

 

 

A Beautiful Centrepiece

 

 

It Is Christmas Time.

Christmas-Tablescapes-106

No matter your culture or creed, or what name you may want to give it,  it is that time of the year when the wheels of the world come briefly to a halt and allow us to be recreational, recuperative and even merry.

At its centre is family and festivities, a time to share and a time to remember, a time to love and to be loved, and a time to remember those who aren’t loved and those who are lonely.

It is a special time of the year, and a good time to reflect on the grand story of God and His love for mankind, through His Son Jesus, who was born in a humble stable.
Old, but ever-fresh Christmas carols, impart to us the grand story in simple song.  One of my favourites is O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Phillips Brookes, an Episcopal priest wrote the original poem.  Lewis Redner, his organist wrote it into music for the children of their Church to sing on Christmas day in 1868.
ref:Wikipedia.

I have extracted a few lines from this carol to create a centrepiece for my reflection this Christmas season. 

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light 
The hope and fears of all the years, 
Are met in thee tonight.

These few lines place the everlasting Light, which is Jesus Christ, as a beautiful centrepiece  between Hope and Fear.   If you think about it these are pivotal points in  the human condition – a make or break in life.  If you don’t have hope you are in despair, if you have fear you are depressed, even oppressed.
Jesus raises hope and He erases fear.
This Jesus, the everlasting Light,  is the centre of God’s grand story.  In the beginning there was Light, in the end we will live in His light, and in the middle is the beautiful centrepiece of His life, death and resurrection.

The hope and fears of all the years, right down the many generations, are met in Jesus .    He is the centre between the old and the new, in between our yesterdays and our tomorrows.  More pertinently today,  He is the beautiful centrepiece in the personal hopes and fears of the ordinary Believer.

Let this old-fashion carol unveil the grand story for you far better than I can.
Take a few minutes to listen,  it may ring some distant bells for you.    For an extra jolt of joy, sing along with the words on the screen.  The tune is simple and repetitive but the words are truly profound.  Make it a Christmas centrepiece moment.

I hope this will leave you with a warm glow of the true meaning of Christmas, and the sureness of knowing, that in spite of it all, you are loved by God – for you are the beautiful centrepiece of His affection.

WISHING  JOY  TO  YOU  AND  YOUR LOVED ONES,  THIS  CHRISTMAS  TIME.

Christmas-Bells