His sight was unimpaired

Either Moses was a spring chicken or his faculties were functioning comparably. At “one hundred twenty” he could still see. He had plenty of energy.

Enter Joshua. One season was becoming another and he would be the one to guide the next stage. I imagine it hitting Joshua like a bittersweet arrow to the heart. Had it not been for love, this moment would not be.

Absent love, Shiphrah and Puah could have subverted Pharaoh’s genocide. Jochebed may not have yielded her toddler to the care of Pharaoh’s daughter. Absent love, young man Moses would never felt for the people, his people, whose liberty God would place in his hands. Moses may never have longed to connect with those who walked the covenant way before him. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, would have been nobodies.  Absent love, people don’t listen for the sound of the holy as it emanates from a bush on fire. [They run or douse the flame.] Absent love, navigating the unknown with fickle pilgrims is painfully pointless. I’m willing to wager that beyond a flash of insight, a bolt of grace struck Joshua: Had it not been for love, this moment would not be.

The thing about love, Godly love, is that for whatever it makes happens, for whatever it gets a hold of, it releases; if reluctantly, still willingly. Love lets go.

Moses had been a man of mighty deeds and unequaled in who he was for a people (vv.11-12), but he was first and finally a man of love. He offered his role to another, his positional power, not because he had to but because he was in this thing with God and working with God is a labor of love.

I’ll wager whatever I have left (or have I spent all my chips?) on the nature of Joshua’s fullness (v.9). It was the fullness you or I feel when we recognize the gift just as the giver is on their way out or even after they have gone. Our hearts swell. We see how we spent a long while only almost seeing their beauty.

There is grace for that, you know. Maybe Moses only almost made it to the promised land and maybe Joshua only almost received the fullness of Moses’s life. You better believe -- that I believe -- it counted.

 

Rachel May