If you are reading this blog for the first time during Lent, you should be aware that you have entered a story that overlays the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt to the Promise Land with the Journey of Aspiring Immortals to the Kingdom of God that is on the new immortal Earth. The parallels are striking. The Exodus can teach us Christians some very important lessons about attitude and relationship. For more about this comparison go to Exodus II explained. The series began with Two Wait for Lent.
“Hey Ben, do you feel different?”
“I think so, but what do you mean Asa?”
“I know this sounds strange, don’t laugh, but ever since yesterday when we walked through the sea I feel as though I swallowed that cloud that we were following. The Spirit of God that guided us lives inside of me now, inside my heart. It’s as if I was baptized by the sea and now I am, uh...we are like new people. I hope we’re still Jewish! And you’re not going to believe this but last night while we were setting up camp I saw little tongues of fire over everyone’s head instead of the big pillar of fire that we were following before. Was I hallucinating? I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even talk about it until now.”
“No Asa, I saw it too, we all did. Who can talk with all this walking? It’s not like this is a highway, you know. Who else, except the wild camels maybe, hev travelled from Egypt to the Promise Land? This is not a wilderness it’s an obstacle course. Asa, my brother, let me confess; sometimes all I can think about is my old comfy bed. I even vunt to slip on those familiar chains. When I worked for Pharaoh I had a little gelt, a routine, fresh water and food! This hunger, don’t get me started. Sometimes these days I think lamb chops, I think about Bubba’s wife...I want to hate all of these stinkin shlemeels around me. Sometimes Asa, not always. God forgive me. I don’t know if this trek is more physical or more mental. We have to concentrate so much on putting one step in front of the other to reach that land of milk and honey. Honey mmm. How can we focus on our feet and on not gossiping too?”
“Ben stop it. You would be better off not letting yourself think at all then to have such thoughts. Remember Lot’s wife. It’s a wonder you haven’t turned into a pillar of salt and crumbled in front of my eyes. You will NEVER see the Promise Land with such an inner battle going on. Who can win if you are fighting yourself and God too? Love yourself by loving God enough to believe that He knows what’s best for you. Right now, it’s to walk and not to complain. Tomorrow it will be something else. Put your stomach in your back pocket for a while and think only goodness, think about the sun and how reliable it is and how warm and giving it is. Think about our God and His promise to Abraham. Look around at all of Abe’s children. Not bad so far! 100 years old and a pregnant wife. Imagine and laugh. Speaking of God, has anyone seen the man of God lately? He was all over town while we were still in Egypt, but now where is he? Maybe we swallowed him too! ”
“You’re right! I haven’t seen him in weeks! Hey Zeporah, come over here. Where have you been? I haven’t seen you lately either. Do you have anything left to eat, I’m starving! Asa, slow down. Shhh. Quiet. I think we’re stopping.”
The whole congregation of new Israelites, the multitudinous children of the promise to Abraham, this moving nation came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai on the fifteen day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation came to a halt as they crossed the field of Elohim and stopped to worship their God who brought them out of the land where they had been slaves and Who had washed their souls of corruption in the sea. The water never touched them but the miracle of walking through the sea of tears killed every ounce of doubt that their God is stronger than death, more powerful than animal-life, that this God of theirs would protect them from all harm on this journey. And that indeed someday, when the marching stopped they would rest with a mighty God in a new incorruptible world. And this thought carried them over the risky rocky road. The God who guided them from within gave them rest. And without a leader in sight, they lifted their hands and they lifted their hearts and they sang a new song. One person after another sang songs of thanksgiving and worship.
Zeporah’s voice as of an angel in soprano-chant pierced the air, “Oh mighty God, creator of every bird that sings and every caterpillar that crawls. What a mighty God you are to have crushed the stronghold that was around our necks and ankles. Oh mighty God my love for you knows no bounds. Gladly I would walk over broken glass and hot sand if only to reach your loving arms.”
And Harry followed Zeporah with,
“Oh Lord, grant us to greet this coming day in Peace.
Help us in all things to rely upon Thy Holy Will.
In every hour of the day, reveal Thy will to us.
Bless our dealings with all who surround us.
Teach us to treat all that comes to us throughout the day with peace of soul.
And with the firm conviction that Thy Will governs all.
In unforeseen events let us not forget that all are sent by Thee.
In all our deeds and words, guide our thoughts and feelings.
Teach us to act firmly and wisely without embittering and embarrassing others.
Give us the strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.
Direct our will.
Teach us to Pray.
Pray Thou Thyself in us.”
And the shofar bellowed and the sun set and the whole congregation of new Israelites like a choir of angels in unison from the infinite depths of their souls shot forth Hallelujahs and Amen.
And Ben was no longer hungry, but filled with love and life, he like the thousands of pilgrims with him quietly made their beds and fell into a deep, sound, and restful sleep.