Much That Once Was Is Lost

The title of my article is a quotation from the fictional character “Galadriel,” the Lady of the Woods of Lothlorien, an Elf Queen who possessed one of the powerful rings, about which author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in his series of fictional books titled “The Lord of The Rings.” In the film that was adapted from the first book, Galadriel speaks, “Much that once was is now lost because none now live who remember it.” That quote might have been a bad start to the character’s relationship with the viewing (the film) and reading (the book) audience, for she still lived and she was part of it. Sauron, the series’ antagonist (bad guy) gave her one of the rings in order to harness her power during the “once was” time.

Long lived people (and fictional characters) do seem to have an advantage over the rest of us. They have longer to learn and apply lessons in life. They may see patterns repeat, which could lead to their acquiring power, wealth, love, admiration, and control beyond what a human (or fictional character) can be expected to achieve in a normal life span. Read J.R.R. Tolkien’s books if you want to perceive how far into describing details that an author will go in order to explain fictional relationships (among humans, wizards, elves, dwarves, orks, etc.). Watch the films if you want to see how far a film producer will go in presenting carnage as a way to achieve a profitable film.

Web search Deuteronomy 34: 7 to see how long an actual human being once lived. Biblical scholars have found evidence and agreed that long-lived Moses possessed and practiced these human qualities during his life: Absolute faith in God, Integrity (morality, ethics), Foresight (thinks strategically, to plan and support the level of God), Firmness (stands like a rock in the face of personal threat), Faith (Trusted and Obeyed God). Do you see why God selected Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt, toward the land that he (God) had promised to Abraham? Most important, this would be a journey of the Hebrew people into forming their relationship with God, a time in which God shaped them to be worthy of his choosing them. A strong human leader was the way that God chose to communicate, and that leader, Moses was also the means to communicate to humans in that time, up to today, and beyond!

Moses’ task seemed simple, to accept God coming near to him, to listen to what God told him to do, and to do it. That last part required him to stand close to the thousands of Hebrews, to explain to them what God wanted them to do, and to lead them to do exactly that. This was one of the more difficult relationships that a human being has had to achieve. Think about Moses’ faith. Moses had stood before the Egyptian Pharaoh (King) on numerous occasions (as God told him to do) and described God’s wrath (a series of plagues) that would only stop when Pharaoh freed the Hebrew people from bondage.

Now, imagine Moses leading thousands of families toward the Red Sea as he gets word that Pharaoh has sent his army in pursuit of the Hebrews, led by war chariots (the means to crush Egypt’s enemies) pell mell (headlong, in a rage of anger). This is the sort of scenario about which Generals dream, to pin an opponent’s army against an immovable obstacle (like the Red Sea). Moses did not know that God would move the immovable; God parted the Red Sea to allow Moses and the Hebrews to pass to the other side.

Do you remember how long Moses lived? About 40 of those years, Moses lived in the presence of God, who spent 40 years of his time shaping the Hebrew people to be worthy of being called his (God’s) people, and he did that through Moses. Moses wrote down his experience, in the way that God told him to do it. These are the first 5 Books (of the Old Testament) in the Christian Bible. Web search Genesis 1:26. Who is “us?” Clearly, it is God, but about whom else is God referring? Keep in mind that you read a quotation from God himself, passed to Moses, who wrote it down (assume that this is a means for us to know something that God wants all of us to know).

Web search Genesis 1: 1-2. The first verse identifies God, and the second verse identifies “The Holy Spirit” as two components of “us.” Web search Colossians 1: 15-17 (a Book in the New Testament) of the Christian Bible. This is about Jesus, the third component of “us,” which is more commonly known to Christians as “God in three persons. (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).” God, the faceless creator, has a face (Jesus), and he passes his grace to each of us (communicates) through the Holy Spirit.

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