Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Evaluation of the "And More"... Part 1

...from my recent post:

I've written extensively about Jacob wrestling with God here: there is no need to reflect upon it further here.

But the rest of my list of numinous Bible passages should be reflected upon briefly, I think.

When Moses isn't allowed into the Promised Land, it is ostensibly because he didn't give the proper blessing when he summoned water from the rock at Kadesh. But Moses' conviction that he is unworthy to lead his people into the Promised Land contains an essential insight into the nature of the divine, that carries through many of the numinous moments. It is the sense of being unworthy BEFORE GOD that really matters. There is something about that scene in Deuteronomy, with Moses looking over the Promised Land, but never reaching it, that speaks to the very essence of what it means to be human. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, so much of life is unfulfilled dreams. And to have God bury Moses at the end, as a concluding statement about Moses' life and existence. Well, the whole thing has the sense of Something Higher.

Something similar is in play when Joshua meets the angel. Joshua falls down in reverence before the being, and anxiously looks for confirmation that God is on his side when he asks the angel who he fights for. While God seems to be clearly on Joshua's side throughout the Book, here the angel does not give a simple answer to Joshua's inquiry. The whole thing... the darkness, Joshua alone except for the angel, the angle refusing to simply acquiesce to Joshua's need...the whole thing just brings you out of yourself.

Ruth's clinging to Naomi is one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. The way their love draws Ruth into worship of God. Naomi does not evangelize to Ruth by beating her over the head with God's word, rather Naomi's character has drawn Ruth into a relationship of love which has in turn drawn her close to God.

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