SoulBreaths

Soul Remodeling: A Wilderness Hero [Moses]

By SoulBreaths Author [ 6 years ago ]

MOSES (MOSHE)
fugitive prince turned bride guardian—who almost missed his calling

 

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First—click this pop-up for a 1-2-3 recap of God's soul-wilderness tactic.

 

READING TIME: 6 MINUTES.

 

Ever since my younger years—later elementary school and decades forward—God has used Moses as a teacher and an example to awaken and stir my soul’s DNA (Judaic roots), guiding it into deeper understanding of God’s Word and His relationship with His people, His world.

 

Moses was a surrendered soul, truly in love with his God. But with all he was allowed to do under God’s hand, he was still a man.

 

Egypt proved a blessing for the twelve tribes of Israel during the famine years when Joseph held a high position. Then the shift emerged and Israel experienced over 400 years of oppressive enslavement.

 

But God’s precision timing was about to unfold—not only Moses’s soul, but also for Israel’s.
 

God begins by separating Moses from the common—his birth tribe and his adopted, privileged position in Egypt—for a series of deconstructing-reconstructing encounters—meetups with God to beat all others.

 

God’s lightning revelations flashed through Moses’s soul
time and time again.
Moses was humbled at the burning bush,
silenced at the sight of God’s glory,
illuminated at God’s giving of the Torah.

 

It was a process of discovering who he was in God.

 

Lightning cracked through Moses’s soul when he first encountered the Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. His response was a natural one. He brought down the Egyptian to help raise up that slave.

 

Moses’ destiny burst forth for a moment, like a firefly flash . . . a hint of what was to come, what would be birthed . . . a foretaste of the servant redeemer that his soul was meant to be.

 

From that major lightning crack across the sky at the burning bush, his soul’s relationship with the living God rose to such a magnitude that the flashes of lightning became his new norm.

 

Times on the mountain, glory times in the tent. It all was part and parcel of what it would mean—for him and us—to flow in God’s presence, spirit, and the prophetic.

 
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BUT MOSES ALMOST MISSED IT

 

Torah scholar/commentator/author Avivah Zornberg gave some insight about “The Transformation of Pharoah, Moses, and God,” during an interview she gave to OnBeing.com’s Krista Tippet.

 

Moses argued with God for seven days no less when he was first called to lead Israel. His thinking was rooted in earthly, physical standards, not in a heavenly perspective.

 

Internal resistance was stirring in his soul.

 

Psychologically, Zornberg says, Moses—like Pharoah and the Hebrews—has an unwillingness to open himself to an alternative reality.

 

He blames it on his speech—in the Hebrew the wording is heavy (kaved, kah-vehd,כָּבֵד). Moses says he’s got a heavy/impeding mouth and heavy/impeding tongue: כְבַד-פֶּה וּכְבַד לָשׁוֹן. Clearly, a negative connotation.

 

There’s another word association, per Zornberg.

 

The Hebrew word for heavy (kaved) is the same word used to describe Pharoah’s hardness of heart during the ten plagues—with the negative connotation of being closed in/off, impervious, resistant.

 

[Note: Kaved is not kavod—ka-vohd (כָּבוד) means glory or honor. Same shoresh (root), so there’s a link. Yet, as we’re seeing, kaved often reflects a negative usage; kavod, a positive one.]

 

Was the heavy (kaved) tongue of Moses also closed off, resistant to God?

 

Moses, per Zornberg, appears willing to forego the whole opportunity to redeem Israel, seeing himself as not the right person for the job. He does recognize, she posits, that an “operation” of sorts is needed—since Moses is like a babe in need of a circumcision and refers to himself as a man of uncircumcised lips.

 

However, this “heaviness,” an inability to open up to God and His word—psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, or otherwise—appears to go well beyond Moses, Israel’s exodus years, and Pharoah.

 

The Cambridge Bible commentary states the “closed in” or “impervious to good impressions” wording in regards to a “heavy, uncircumcised heart” appears elsewhere in the Tanach: Leviticus 26:41, Jeremiah 9:25(26), and Ezekiel 44:7,9.

 

The wording also is used similarly when speaking of the ear, in Jeremiah 6:10, revealing that the nation heard imperfectly.

 

I dare say this “heaviness” is a human condition. One that only a spiritual surgery in God’s wilderness venues can heal. Turning a no into a . . . teetering if-you-say-so.

 

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QUESTIONABLE BRIDE—REDEEMING BRIDE GUARDIAN

 

Fortunately for us, Moses surrendered to God’s soul deconstructing-reconstructing process and embraced his soul’s calling—as Israel’s leader, intercessor, shepherd, bride guardian.

 

So much so that the Torah’s final words in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 34 say that “no prophet in Israel has since arose whom God knew face to face” and that Moses “evoked great terror before the eyes of all Israel.”

 

Rabbinic commentary says this great terror is none other than Moses’ shattering of the first set of tablets—which is linked to a midrash that goes something like this.

 

So there was a king, a bride-to-be, and her maidservants.

 

The king heads out of town on some business, putting the maidservants in care of his bride. But their character was lacking, big time. They engaged in harlotry, consequently smudging the betrothed bride’s character.

 

That pushed the king’s anger into overdrive. To the point where he wanted his betrothed killed and out of his life. Clean and tidy.

 

But the bride’s guardian was quick on his feet. As soon as he learned of the king’s intentions, he swooped in and destroyed the marriage contract: “Even if she was found wanting, she wasn’t your wife yet. So all’s good. She’s not accountable to the contract.”

 

Presto. No need to kill her. That appeased the king, which was a good thing because he later discovered his bride’s behavior really hadn’t been awry—just her maidservants’.

 

The bride’s guardian stepped in and suggested the king write a new marriage contract.

 

The king agrees. “Fine. But since you tore up the first one, you provide the paper and I’ll write it in my own hand.”

 

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SOUND FAMILIAR?

 
Israel is found wanting—though not all of them. Moses protects her covenant with God by destroying the first marriage agreement, the first set of tablets that God had carved and written on.

 

Then when God is willing to redo the marriage contract, He has Moses co-labor with him by carving out the tablets that God will write on.

 

But the Ramban—Nachmanides, a Spanish Sephardic rabbi and noted medieval Jewish scholar—adds another component. He says Moses had a temper, i.e. killing the Egyptian and striking the rock incidents. So it wasn’t all about his acting as defender of the bride.

 

I tend to merge the two thoughts. When you have a critical position that has to be assigned to someone—maybe a person who will handle significant aspects of your business or oversee your health directive or your will—you need to choose someone who won’t be intimidated in making tough, wise decisions. Someone who can do that in a split moment, if needed.

 

That’s why I think God chose Moses. Yes, he had passion, a temper even. For Moses, when something was wrong, it was wrong. He acted on it. The excessive actions of the Egyptian, the excessive rebellion of Israel at the rock.

 

In his talmudic commentary Shabbat 87a, French medieval rabbi Rashi played with the reading of “ashur” (meaning “that” or “which”) for “ishur” (meaning “affirm” or “praise”) to basically suggest that when it comes to the shattered tablets, it’s as if God thanked or praised Moses for his actions.[1]

 

Was God saying this? “Thank you, bride guardian, for having the passion, wisdom, boldness, and courage to make the hard decision when needed to defend Israel and allow me to still make covenant with her via a new contract.”

 

Quite possibly.

 

One thing’s for certain. Through all his soul’s wilderness travails with Israel and within himself, Moses humbly steadies the course at all costs—relinquishing any rights to a personal life or family legacy . . . God’s people became his legacy.

 

Read all the Soul Remodeling stories:

 

I’ve had my God- designed wilderness journeys to deconstruct-reconstruct my soul. How about you? These posts can shed some light and encouragement: Soul Remodeling Series: The Wilderness Call, Part 1 and Soul Remodeling Series: The Wilderness Call, Part 2.

 

[1] Rashi’s comment per an article called “The Marriage Contract,” appearing on www.meaningfullife.com

CREDIT: Blurred Arrow Target photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

CREDIT:Broken Heart photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

 

Article created August 17, 2015.

Tightrope Walker: Three Hours Of Silence

By SoulBreaths Author [ 7 years ago ]

Come up to the mountain and stay there. God said that to Moses. But what does that mean for you and me? A lot, as it happens. Like listening, obeying, waiting . . . and possibly some spiritual tightrope walking to boot.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

READING TIME: 4 MINUTES.

 

Sswimming in God’s murmuring deep . . . that’s the real desire. Speaking with Him soul to soul. Listening for our Redeemer’s stilled, small voice.

 

But I’ll be honest—there’s a cost. A wrestling within. An off-the-grid trek. Taking you beyond your version of things to a place guaranteed to ruffle your comfy feathers.

 

When His voice calls you to go higher so you can go deeper, it’s not about pitching your tent in the lower mountain places. Because a change in the physical moves the spiritual . . . and a shift in the spiritual births breakthrough in the physical.
 

Soaking in His presence is the launching pad: separating time (marking it as holy, set apart for Him) , moving away from the world’s noisy, pushy, self-focused gravitational pull, so you can drink in God’s ways, and then drink in, drink in, and drink in even more.

 

Here’s a quick story of what my friends and I experienced via a surprising God-move that caused us to wrestle through the process as it took us individually to new territory in Him.

 
 

 
 

STEPPING ONTO THE HIGH WIRE:
THE MOSES MOUNTAIN

 

The Lord had led three of my friends and me on a joint spiritual journey back in 2009—a year filled with soaking-in-His-presence lessons that, personally speaking, catapulted my walk into new directions on many levels.

 

It all started with our hanging out at His well (in prayer, seeking His face, desiring to go deeper). Although we had different backgrounds and approaches, we were one in Messiah, Jesus, honoring God and His Word.

 

We had agreed to meet weekly via phone for prayer and subsequent God-called fasts. The actual parameters of each fast differed and intensified per the individual intercessor—but the leading of the “when” and the “how long” always fell in absolute unison.

 

The Lord had impressed on me that some of the things He had me fasting from would last more than an appointed number of days—they would become my way of life going forward.

 

Throughout that first year, we had ascended from group prayer time to a higher level of God-led intercession and onto prophetic intercession, visions or words given, hearing His voice of what to say or do (or not) as we spiritually swam in His murmuring deep.

 

Key lesson—obedience is birthed out of love for Him.

 

THE SHIFT

 

On May 25, 2009, we’d entered our regular time for intercession via phone. But there was nothing regular about this special God encounter.

 

We started with worship and praise as individually led.

 

But then . . . without any of us discussing it or sharing what we were experiencing at that moment, we simultaneously entered a stillness.

 

No words were spoken.

 

His Spirit had fallen over us, silenced us, and impressed on us individually not to speak.

 

We’d learned from prior group experiences to hear and heed. And now we were taking a mini test.

 

Would we obey even if we felt the need in the natural to speak or explain? I have to tell you, despite prior learning to follow His lead, my mind still had moments of wondering . . .

 

Am I the only one hearing this? (Nope, as it turned out.)

Did my phone drop the call? (Not in the least.)

Should I explain what He’s directing me to do? (Nope again . . . this was a faith test for each of us.)

 

Despite each question I wrestled with in the natural, my soul was at peace with the stillness, marveling at it and sensing things from Him through it. And He assured me, impressing on me to not be concerned about explaining things to the others but to remain silent, still, and wait.

 

At one point, the Lord highlighted my dog, a sweet-but-feisty English Cocker (Avigail) who was lying calmly at my feet through it all. God was affirming His lesson . . . just relax, trustfully wait, rest in Him, something like the restful devotion my dog was giving me.

 

Determined to not lose my balance on this undulating high wire, I wrestled against natural inclinations and waited (and waited even more), humbled by His His divine royalty, powerful presence and authority, love.

 

Three to three-and-a half hours later . . . He lifted the silence.

 

Amazing.

 

We all had remained on the phone in obedient stillness, not knowing what our intercessory partners were thinking, doing, or if they had hung up or given up.

 

All we had was our personal command for silence before Him. The wrestling through it all was similar, but the lessons may have been different.

 

Why three plus hours? Don’t know. But what I can share is two things.

 

We had entered a whole new level of not pitching our tent in the low places and learning (by His grace) to go farther up the mountain,
closer to Him, deeper in Him, trusting the climb, the silence,
the unexplainable, the waiting
. . .
 
Obediently resting in His Presence,
in His holy bridal chamber
.

 

HE ALONE IS KING . . . the GREAT I AM.


HE ALWAYS WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE.

 

And that SECOND takeaway?

 

After the Lord had broken the silence, my intercessory partners immediately asked, “What was that?” and started sharing the experiences and wrestlings they’d had during the wait.

 

Here’s what God had imparted to me during those hours and what I basically had shared with them:

 

He is King. K-I-N-G. Yes, we have access to His Holy throne room through our Messiah—but He wanted to take us to another level of His Lordship, majestic royalty . . . not move in presumption.

 

Similar to ancient days of earthly kingships, He wanted us to bow to His Lordship and obey . . . speaking only when He, the King, directed. And in that time of silently waiting for His nod to speak, we were to rest attentively to hear His voice within our souls.

 

How does that roll? Well, if you’re willing to surrender to His lead to get your spiritual ears recalibrated, there will be times when He’ll direct you to sit before Him and learn by just being in His Presence.

 

Other times, He’ll direct you to only worship Him—no prayer lists, not even a deeper-level intercession. But what songs would He like to hear—something honest and spontaneous from your soul, a melody from His heart to yours, or a worship song you often sing?

 

Or He may not want songs or soulful melodies but instead desire praise and thanksgiving. Or He could lead you into intercession where you’ll speak His Words, often praying from scripture, doing battle on behalf of others, world events, things to come according to what He is showing you.

 

There will be times for prayer lists/requests/concerns, but He just might want you to set all that aside, trusting that He knows the list, and instead go higher on the mountain, spending that time solely loving on Him.

 

Adonai said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there . . . Then Moses went up the mountain and the cloud covered the mountain. —Exodus 24:12-15

 
 

My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from him.Psalm 62:5(6).

 
 
CREDITS

Photo credit: Feet on a tightrope by Barguti on iStock (Stock photo ID:158772733)

Photo credit: Whisper by Kristina Flour on Unsplash.com

 
 

[Expanded from a 2009 post about Feasting within the Fast; revised January 2015 and re-released 2022.]

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