Thursday 19 January 2017

The Journey of Miles

Moses was a walker.
His leather sandals held miles on their tread, more tread then some cars do. How do I know that? Because the Torah tells us about the journey of the Israelites, but it also tells us about the journeys of Moses, the leader of the people. There's one specific trip Moses takes, which has gripped me over the past week. It's one particular trip he takes up mount Sinai to meet with Yahweh at God's command.

Moses took a total of nine trips up that same mountain, nine. Nine times he went up to meet with the Great I am! But on this one occassion something happens when he gets up the mountain that seems pretty awful in a way. The bump and sweat up Mount Sinai is no joke, even today, it's a hard journey. Some break bones, others take a camel up halfway, all in all it still takes 3 to 4 hours up even in our modern world, there's even cafes en route these days! But in Moses' day, there were no luxuries, it was a hard grind to the top, taking hours. So, 4 hours up and 4 hours down, that was the drill. So in Exodus 19 we are faced with the beautiful moment where Yahweh chooses to give His people, His Torah. Not only that, He also tells them the purpose for their redemption, to become a holy nation, a kingdom of priests set apart to Him alone (verses 5 - 6). Then Moses goes up the mountain a few times and relays messages to the people from God and then from God to the people. But in verse 20 - 21, 23 - 24 this happens....

  The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai
and called Moses to the top of the mountain.
So Moses went up
and YHWH said to him,
“Go back down and warn the people.." 
Moses said to the Lord,
“The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because
you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around
the mountain and set it apart as holy.’
YHWH replied, “Go down and bring Aaron up with you."

Moses gets to the top after a long tiring walk of a couple of hours and he is told by God to go back down. Imagine, hearing those words - go back down on another long journey after you've just travelled up. These words really struck me as I allowed them to sink in. All the way up, just to be commissioned for another journey down and up again. 

But truthfully, I don't know what happened for Moses as he journeyed down. I don't know what he needed to learn from the experience of 9 to 12 hours of journeying on one day! I don't know if something shifted in his spirit, if there was something he needed to learn from the hard journey. Perhaps the Almighty wanted him to feel something or understand something. It seems to be that the journey was of utmost importance to God. This strange, unnecessary trip could have been a trip that changed things for Moses, it could have been a trip of learning, of breaking, of growing. It so mirrors our unfathomable trips of life too. Maybe it's not going as smooth as you thought it would go, maybe you are facing unnecssary pauses or periods of waiting. Maybe there is opposition, or despair, worry or weariness. Maybe there's an extra wait, or extra mountain you have to climb, and it's hard. But on the other side of that journey, maybe it's the place where you will grow to break, and break to grow. Or maybe in the "going down" God will show up in a greater way then before. Even waiting is a place of destiny. I don't know why friend, why when you just got to the top, you have to go back down again but our Abba is good and He knows. He will use the rugged, unmarked, dusty path to grow you, to help you, to teach you and it may not be easy but it's always for your good. Look what Moses got out of his journeys up and down that mountain, he got to hear the very Voice of God and to see the very Glory of God. He got nearness, intimacy and fresh word everyday more then anyone before him. He got called "spokesman for God," humble man, who was blessed to know the King. And that is purpose beyond belief. I pray that our mountains will be places like that. Don't give up, the journey is worth purpose!

1 comment:

  1. This past week I was thinking about the "journey" that I will be taking with my family this summer to Auschwitz. I prayed to Yah that this would be a trip in which he would reveal to me what it is like to overcome fear and journey through a dark place... as we approach a time when the chosen will have to face this same darkness. I am sure that Moses must have felt this as way as well. I pray that Yah let me have the same faith that Moses had. That I will not have fear or be a coward when he ask me "to go."