“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m not going to write this to be popular, to look for agreement. I’m not expecting to turn heads, or make people take a closer look for themselves.
I’m aware that this is highly controversial and may piss off everyone.
I’m saying it anyway.
There are a few issues on which I stand my ground, those proverbial mountains upon which I would die, the fight that I’ll take to my grave. What follows is one of those.
You’re free to exit the page now,
go on –
I’ll give you a second.
Still here? You can’t say I didn’t warn you.
Predominantly, when there is a leader, the position has been granted with the expectation of specific results. The guidelines are established and the leader has some leeway, but must produce the intended results or lose the leadership position.
This post is about a specific, well known, and much loved leader: Moses.
Most people would readily agree that he was chosen for a major leadership role, given a specific set of instructions, and given the tools to accomplish the assigned tasks.
Most would say that Moses did his job, completed the task, since the end result of leading the Hebrews into Canaan was accomplished.
I contend that Moses grossly abused his role, and would go so far as to point out that his transgressions while in the leadership role are evidenced by the fact that he was not allowed to put one foot into the ‘Promised Land’.
The common perspective is that it had to do with splitting the rock. I thought the same for years, the text leads us to believe that. That’s abuse, but not a gross abuse, not of the magnitude that I am about to present. Granted, when you’re in the position of representing Almighty, you’d better give credit where it is due – Moses’ neglect to honor Almighty was enormous.
I’m talking about another abuse, an interwoven thread of corruption that makes the rock event pale by comparison. I’m talking about taking the Laws into his own hands and reforming them, refashioning them, adding to them in a manner that seemed not only allowable and acceptable to Moses, but to an entire populace for thousands of years.
It’s not a new thing in religion, it’s truly not. We’re pretty gullible if there’s a word encased within the bindings of a cover titled ‘The Bible’ — would even go so far as to call every single word Holy, immutable, penned with the absolute permission of Almighty, even directly attributed to Almighty.
I warned you –
you should have left sooner…
you still have that opportunity –
Where was I? Oh yes.
Holy, immutable, every word.
Let’s look at Proverbs 31. The favorable woman.
I’ll first agree, the characteristics described are seemingly good ones, mannerisms and fortitude that are not bad aspirations. But they are not commanded. Yes, I said that – Not Commanded. Not even attributed to Solomon, to the wise man himself. Look it up. Lemuel, likely a king, quotes words or vision from his mother. Not attributed to Solomon – and most definitely not attributed to Almighty!
Okay. There may be some of you who concur, who have made that connection. I give you credit for your learning.
I’ll offer one other example. This is a big one, are you ready?
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh”
So, back to Moses. Back to the corruption, the gross abuse of the powerful role of leadership that he was granted. Back to the extreme punishment he received.
Forty years. Forty years of leading a large, grumbling mass of humanity through a rough terrain. Forty years of knowing that there was an ultimate goal in sight, a promise of a land bountiful beyond anything seen before. Forty years of the same foods, the same people, the same views, the same routines. Forty dull years that followed a year of monumental, earth shaking events.
Then a firm denial. Look, see what was within your grasp. Take a long distance peek at what you’re going to miss, you’re excluded from, denied entrance. Lay yourself down and die, your options are no more. Almighty would perform the final act, would remove the leader and take firm credit.
I’ll not question if the punishment fit the deed, as Almighty has clearly cast that Judgment, rightly so.
I’ll propose that there’s more to the story, and it’s in the text, it’s available to any who cares to read, should they accept it for its worth.
Look at the words attributed to Almighty, those immutable Laws, directions, instructions, conditions. Take care – if you’re not paying attention, you’ll get too relaxed in thinking you know which words fit the category. Do what Almighty instructed and look for the voice of Almighty (see Ex 15:26 or Ex 19:10 for examples).
Now, look at those words attributed to Moses.
The entirety of Tanakh has been fashioned after those words, the words of Moses. In fact, the entirety of the New Testament could not hold water if the words of Moses did not exist.
Abuse of Power.
To the Highest Degree.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.