Crystal Writes A Blog

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Moses the History Major

History by Flickr User Sean MacEntee, CC License = Attribution

History by Flickr User Sean MacEntee, CC License = Attribution
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

History was never my strong subject in school, and I don’t know why because I like it so much now. Maybe it takes getting older and more mature to realize the value of the past. I woke up the other day thinking about an event when I was twelve years old that could have drastically changed my life. In some ways, it would have been better if the rich couple from the foster home adopted me, but I wouldn’t be where I am today. Maybe I would be a writer, but it would probably be in some secular field from a college-educated philosophy instead of from the depths of emotional traumas that have molded me into a survivor that knows only God could bring me through this life with the mercy and grace I’ve seen. It has been hard, but as the line in the song says, “I wouldn’t take nothin’ for my journey now, gotta make it to Heaven somehow.”

In today’s reading from Numbers 33:1 through Numbers 33:10, we start a new week and a new portion with Parashah 43. The Hebrew title for this section is Masa’ei, and in English it means “stages.” Verse 1 (in the Complete Jewish Bible) says, “These are the stages in the journey of the people of Isra’el as they left the land of Egypt divided into groups under the leadership of Moshe and Aharon.” And verse 2 tells us that Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) recorded each stage of the journey by order of The Lord. And the rest of the reading for the next two days will simply overview the travels of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Jordan River.

For the rest of the reading, and for the next day, the text will simply reiterate where the children of Israel traveled through on their journey to The Promised Land. They began the morning after the first Passover and traveled from Rameses to Succoth. They left their camping spot there and moved to Etham at the edge of the desert. Then they camped in Pi-Hahiroth just before Migdol. Then they passed through the Red Sea and camped at Etham, so I’m guessing it’s another part of the same desert. That part was near Marah where God turned the bitter water into sweet water. From Marah they moved on to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. When they left there, they camped back by the Red Sea.

As the above image says, history is recorded by the winners, and Moses was most certainly a winner. You don’t see much history recorded from the perspective of the Egyptians that lost everything because they continued to worship false gods even if the face of power and proof of God Almighty and His creation.

Those who serve God are winners no matter what life on this earth looks like. We have the promise of a prize that is so big, it will take God an eternity to give it to us. 🙂 The prizes God gives do not only go to the first, the fastest, the longest living, the most sacrificial, etc., but to everyone who crosses the finish line. Even Moses, who could not pass into the land of Canaan with the other children of Israel because of his disobedience against God will join us for the big prize. Actually, since he showed up with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, he’s likely already enjoying his big prize.

We can thank Moses for recording and capturing those journeys and memories for us to have. We can learn from them–both what to do and what not to do. We can see the endings with clarity, so we know the directions we want to walk if we don’t want to repeat the same mistakes and end up in the same places. The historian may not be recognized or appreciated until later, but of all the things Moses is, I’m certainly glad he chose to be obedient to God and become a history major.


July 12, 2014 - Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , ,

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