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August 30, 2010

I’m reading The Bible, Period by Period by Josiah Blake Tidwell … ’cause it’s free on iBooks.

Turns out it’s really good. It’s kind of a chronological overview with a lot of secular history tied in – which is fascinating to a geek like me – and some commentary throughout. It’s a nice “big picture” look at – so far – the Old Testament.

Recently, I got to the end of Moses’ career, and Tidwell writes this beautiful eulogy that I just had to share. I’ve always been a fan of Moses, but this is great.

There were far too many of the Israelites to hear his voice and he probably gathered together the princes and elders who listened to him from day to day, each of whom went home and repeated to his own people what he had heard from their inspired leader.

In these addresses Moses recounted their wanderings and Jehovah’s goodness to them. He reminded them of all that God had commanded them in his law and gave such new instructions and interpretations as would be needed in the new conditions that they would meet on coming into the Promised Land. He painted in frightful colors the fearful doom that would befall the disobedient and eloquently described the blessing of loyalty to God.

After being called of God to depart into the mountains and die, he pronounced in one of the most beautiful passages in all scripture, his farewell blessing upon each of the tribes.

And how solemn must have been the occasion. They are listening for the last time to his voice. With what veneration they must have gazed on him.

He it was that Jochebed with loving hands had laid in the bulrushes when 120 years ago Pharaoh had persecuted them. He was the man that had so nobly chosen to suffer affliction with the people of God instead of the attractions of Egypt. His eyes under the shadow of Horeb had looked on the burning bush. His hand had stretched out over Egypt and overwhelmed it with the plagues. His was the face that had reflected the divine glory of the mount after forty days of fellowship with Jehovah, during which he received the substance of the law.

That was the faithful and tried man that had often been wrongly accused, that had meekly borne so many trials, that had guided the people so faithfully, and advised them so wisely, and had refused honors himself because he loved them so well. How they must have hung on those last words!

And the echo of his last words had hardly died away until his spirit had been called away and unseen hands had laid his dust in an unknown tomb.

I can’t wait to meet Moses.

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