The Sin of Moses

Now, to sober things up a bit – or at least humble them up for me! I got a new insight today, on how the sin of Moses has crept into my life.

moses_water_rock_strike

I’ve always wondered what, exactly, the sin of Moses was – you know, the one for which he was punished by not being allowed in to the Promised Land? Well, I’ve been struggling for awhile with knowing how to positively motivate my children. I’m ashamed to say I’ve resorted to guilting them way too often. Instead of encouraging and building up like the wise woman I want to be, I become a foolish woman, tearing down my house with my own hands. (Proverbs 14:1)

sledgehammer

As I was praying today, asking for freedom from this tendency, the voice of Moses rang in my head, as he cried out, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10) My heart sank into repentance almost immediately, as I recognized the tone all too well. He is pushing guilt on the people, when they are asking for his help. Many times, when overwhelmed by all that is being asked of me by my large brood, I am prone to lash out instead of simply praying for patience and answering the requests in order of their immediacy.

moses-in-desert

The hardest thing, of course, is seeing the ugly fruit come out in my children’s interactions with each other. I hope and pray that we can all shake off the rotten fruit, and that I am able to be a better example to them from here on out. My hope is that we WILL be free, because this answer came directly in response to my prayer, and I asked for help in the right place – from the one who came to set captives free!

(I’m not saying this is ALL Moses was being punished for in this instance, but the L-rd has definitely used it to get my attention today. I also did look at the Rabbinic sources, and found out that this factor is one of the main 5 theories on the identification of Moses’ sin. (Thanks, Rambam!)

I have repented to my Father and my family, and pray for His help to keep this idea before me when temptation comes. And yes, it is also important to forgive myself and move on. If Moses, the meekest man on earth, was subject to this sin, I shouldn’t be surprised that it comes knocking at my door.

It is humbling to post this. It’s not something to be proud of, but I hope this can help someone else who might have the same tendency or temptation.

While writing this, the following song came on (available here: Psalms of Ascent CD), as a lovely underscore.

Psalm 130

New King James Version (NKJV)

Waiting for the Redemption of the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130 Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.

3 If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But there is forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning—
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption.
8 And He shall redeem Israel
From all his iniquities.

Hallelujah!

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Passover Thoughts about the Sahara

Sahara Desert

just a fraction of the sprawling Sahara

First off, you need to know that I believe that every word of the Bible, in its original language, is literally, figuratively, symbolically, and scientifically true.

If you don’t accept that premise, you’re going to have a hard time reading what I write, and will probably be inclined to mock it.  You should probably find something else to read about now.

I have personally seen too much evidence of the mind of our Creator at work in the Hebrew scriptures to believe anything else, and one of my favorite pastimes is looking for evidence of His hand in the world around me.  I find it everywhere, but most particularly at work in the land, people and language of Israel.

OK – so here comes my first crazy thought.

(You do realize that if you have a crazy thought and you google it and come up with NOTHING, that you are pretty much obligated to blog, in order to add it to the vast universe of crazy thoughts on the internet, right? Just so we’re clear!)

I woke up this past Sunday morning with the thought, “What if the plagues G-d poured out on Egypt in the book of Exodus were the cause of the Sahara Desert?”  I wasn’t even quite awake when the thought occurred, and it jolted me out of my drowsiness to ask, “Wait – WHAT?!?”

(Our family has been celebrating Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread this past week.  We hosted a Seder for 58 people, and I wrote our own Haggadah to go with it the week before – in between cleaning spurts to get all the crumbs of out of my castle.  So the plagues have been rolling through my brain.)

So, I of course grabbed my laptop to do a little research:  Sahara Desert, Northern Africa = the size of the entire US!

Apparently, scientists agree (now, there’s a head-scratcher!) that the Sahara Desert began about 4,000 years ago.  There is an abundance of evidence that says it wasn’t always a wasteland – that there are dry riverbeds and fossils of lush vegetation, as well as human art work and the remains of cities beneath the sand.

What historians can’t agree on is the exact time frame of the Exodus of the nation of Israel from Egypt – but 4,000 years ago is definitely “in the zone,” for my purposes at 6am on a Sunday.

I dug further.

It turns out that the two factors required for the process of desertification (previously useful land becoming desert) are:

1.) death of plant life, and

2.) strong winds, which loosen topsoil unanchored by plant roots.

That got me REALLY thinking.

Hail and locusts killed the plants.

Strong winds occurred – for a night and a day – to bring the locusts into Egypt (from the east), and also to take them out of Egypt (from the west, driving them into the sea).

Then an incredibly strong east wind blew all night – strong enough to part the Red Sea!

I’m thinking it sounds like a viable theory.

So there’s my first crazy thought.  Do with it what you will . . .