In Numbers 33 and 34 Moses is looking back. And also looking forward. The account of Numbers is winding down, with its brisk and rather perfunctory telling of the travels and events in the life of the wandering people of Israel.
Deuteronomy is coming up, where Moses gets reflective. He teaches. He reiterates God's laws and what it means to follow them.
Here Moses recounts the journey. He kept a journal. (If he didn't we would not get to read all this.) He has kept careful records of everywhere they have been.
I can't help but reflect on what Moses' life was like.
Did he have a pocket daytimer? Did he himself write everything down, or did he have a group of scribes? He was trained in Egypt - the leading empire of the world at the time. Did he have a whole department dedicated to his writing? One group preparing fresh parchment every day. Another group writing feverishly as he dictated? Another group reviewing, editing, rewriting with better diction or more accurate language? A whole group dedicated to storage - including filing, retrieving, cataloguing?
While I think about it, what WAS his life like? Did he get up early every morning? Did he go somewhere specific to meet with God? Did he meet with the leaders at a specific time each day? Did he enjoy his life, or was it a burden and drugery for him?
I am at a time in life when I am looking back. And looking ahead. Every year I take a day or two to write down my goals for the upcoming year. I could not do that this year. Everything was so chaotic and uncertain, I could not predict or plan what might happen. I am still feeling my way along, uncertain what will develop and what my life will look like.
Moses is at that time in his life here. He reviews their journey. God lays out for him the borders of their new land, and instructions for taking it. However, Moses does not appear in that picture. He is not going to be able to go in. He will see it, and send them in with many words from God.
But he will not be with them.
I find that very nostalgic and sad in a way. Yet God had used him. And God was not finished with him yet. His most important words were yet to be spoken. They had more weight and more power and more lasting impact BECAUSE of the life journey he had lived.
Friday night some friends had us over for supper. There were two other people invited. Our evening consisted of hearing each persons story. EACH story had a lot of pain. Each story also reflected the glory and faithfulness of God.