HIS VIGOR HAD NOT ABATED
with Rev. Rachel
7 HIS VIGOR HAD NOT ABATED Deuteronomy 34
Either Moses was a spring chicken or his faculties were functioning comparably. He could still see. He had plenty of energy. At “one hundred twenty” it was something other than the years that God was minding.
Joshua was his name. One season was becoming another and he would be the one to guide the next stage. First, a thirty-day period (v.8) and perhaps the reception of this precious insight: Had it not been for love, this moment would not be.
Absent love, Jochebed may not have yielded her toddler to the care of an enemy’s daughter. That adoption would have fallen apart about the time that adolescence makes most households a war-zone. Young man Moses would never felt for or with with the people, his people, whose liberty God would soon place in his hands.
Absent love, Moses may never have longed to stretch his life so as to connect with those who went before him. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, they would be dead and gone, their stories immaterial.
Absent love, people don’t listen for the sound of the holy as it emanates from a bush on fire. Absent love, navigating the unknown with reluctant pilgrims is painfully pointless.
I’m willing to wager that 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. Love lets go of power. Sure, 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—what we call 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 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 getting it, only almost seeing their truth and beauty.
There is grace for that, you know. Moses only almost made it to the promised and you better believe that I believe it: To God and to Joshua, it counted.