Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ZENITH (04/21/16)
TITLE: The Last Mountain
By Joe Moreland
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Now it was time to climb one last mountain for the Lord. It would be his only chance to see the land he had worked so long and so hard to bring these stubborn, proud, disobedient people into.
For the thousandth time he questioned why he had made the stupid mistake of disobeying God himself. He still didn’t exactly understand what came over him. Moses and Aaron had stood before the people ready to deliver the Lord’s message. Still grieving over the recent loss of their beloved sister,Miriam, he withstood their incessant complaining.
Why has God brought us to a desert? Why has He done this to us? We should go back to Egypt!
Suddenly an anger at their pathetic whining came over Moses. Always they blamed God. He provided for their needs again and again, despite their lack of faith, and still it was never good enough. They just found something else to complain about.
In the midst of his pain, over the loss of Miriam, he just couldn’t hold the anger back anymore. Abandoning what God told him to do Moses yelled at them and then struck the rock the Lord had designated twice with the staff. Water came pouring out, just as God had said it would.
Moses realized what he had done right away. It looked like he had made a miracle happen. He could give all the credit to God after the fact, but in that moment the people believed in Moses--not in God. The prophet had made many mistakes in his life, but that single act of disobedience had the most devastating consequences of them all.
The rebuke had come quickly. Moses would not enter the promised land. He had begged God to reconsider, but it was not to be, and God commanded him to not ask again.
The time was at hand.
As he turned away from the people, and set his feet on the path to climb this final mountain, Moses felt it. The time was right. Miriam was gone. Aaron was gone. This new generation followed Joshua now, and his time was at an end.
The man who was Moses, shed his mantle of “Prophet” and “Leader” and became, again, simply a man obeying the commands of his God. One more mountain to climb. Like the one where he first met God in the burning bush. Like the one where God gave him the commandments. He would meet the Lord once more at the top of a mountain.
Like the Israelites, Moses had made many mistakes. Like the Israelites, God had saved him again and again. This time, though, he wanted to be in complete obedience. To do what was right. What was asked of him.
This felt right.
The walk up Mount Nebo was strenuous. This one was high. He guessed it had to be in order for him to see what God had promised. It was a hard walk, but then mountains always were.
Finally Moses stood at the top and looked out over the landscape. He felt God’s presence there with him. It was like someone stood just behind him, breathing over his shoulder. He felt something brush his eyes and his vision changed. He didn’t see any longer just what was there now, but, also, what would be there one day. The land that would belong to the tribes of Gilead and Dan. To Naphtali and Ephraim and Manessah--all the way to the shining Mediterranean sea. All of Judah lay before him and he saw it up close, as no Israelite had yet to see it. God gave him that gift.
As the greatest prophet who ever lived, or ever would live, gave up his last breath, God Himself took his body into His own hands. The hands that could hold the oceans of the world lifted Moses as a delicate flower petal and carried him off to the most holy burial the world has ever known.
The Lord buried Moses in a secret place that only He knew of, assuming the role of a priest for the first time, but not the last, to claim what always belonged to Him
**Based mostly on Numbers 14 and 20 and Deuteronomy 34.
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