Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: NOISE (05/03/18)
By Dave Walker
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Words of worship poured from my lips in response to the mantle of light and peace that encompassed me. In the timelessness of pure love, I had no sense of the passage of day or night, as intricate details of how a tabernacle was to be built to God imprinted themselves on my mind; who was to serve in it, the sacrifices to be made, the names of the people gifted to construct it... I neither ate nor drank during this time -- which seemed no time at all, though later they told me I'd been up the mountain for forty days.
As God finished speaking into my mind, a mist, like a wraith, passed before me. I saw two stone tablets at my feet. I heard God say, "Take these to the people that they may remember to keep My law. Hurry, now. I hear them. Those stubborn people are corrupting themselves with a foreign god. "
I came to myself as I sensed God's anger. He continued. "I've a mind to destroy them, and start again with you, Moses. I'll make you father of a new nation."
"Lord," I protested with a boldness that sprang from alarm. "Surely not. What will the Egyptians say? That You brought Your people out here merely to slay them? Do You want them to think that of You?" I trembled as I continued, "And what of Your promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?"
I picked up the tablets and started down the mountainside, wondering if I had imagined that last unlikely conversation. Still filled with His radiance, I soon forgot the disturbing dialogue.
Joshua was some way up the mountain, waiting for me. He greeted me warmly. "I was worried. You were gone so long, with no food or drink. Some elders were convinced you'd died up there."
"Was I there so long? I had no idea!" I said, as I embraced him. "It was unforgettable, Joshua. I'll tell you about it when we get to camp."
My joy was infectious. Soon the two of us were humming and laughing. Hunger pangs anticipated my first meal in over a month, and I longed to see Aaron and the people.
At a clearing, Joshua stopped humming and stood still, listening. "What's that noise?"
Then I too, heard it. Joshua tilted his head. "It sounds like a war in the camp."
"No... it's not a victory shout," I said, straining my ears. "Nor is it wailing in defeat." My spirits lifted. "They're singing and dancing. They're happy, Joshua. Let's hurry down and see what the party's about."
Then, as they came into sight, like molten lava spewing from a volcano in my soul, the glow from my time with God burst into red hot fury. I rushed down the mountain, hurling the tablets of stone against a rock.
The music stopped.
And the dancing.
All the people looked at me.
A calf of gold stood at the centre of the gathering. The singing had been worship songs to the calf, the dancing was before the golden idol. Now I knew. I did hear God when said He wanted to destroy these people. He'd heard their noise long before I had and knew what it meant. I felt the anger He had expressed. In righteous fury, I ground the calf to dust and scattered it on the water. "Drink it, you rebellious people. Drink the god you worshipped. Taste the bitterness of disobedience and wait for the judgement of God!"
...Yet I knew my God. He is gracious and merciful -- a God of second chances. Sure enough, in what followed, only those who refused to repent faced His wrath. The repentant ones once again joined me on our journey to His Promised Land.
Will you leave your idol and join me with them?
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