Broke Back Mountain Man (Year 33) – Part 2

I’m continuing this from yesterday’s post. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to catch your breath and reload! Btw, thank you for being my traveling companion again today!

Because I have a hero, and my hero works a hard warehouse job to provide us the best possible healthcare, my hero has made it possible for me to “ride in style” in a very durable power chair.

This is my hero:

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Imagine her in a filthy shipping warehouse.

Yup. My hero.

And because my hero has so obligingly sacrificed herself and provided me with a chair that can negotiate *some* off-road terrains, my hero has made it possible for me to kick around places like this, without a spotter:

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Hullo there, main bluff, namesake of Ft. Bluff, oh Mecca of mine, ground called holy.

Every time I’ve found myself here – 20 or 25 times in all – the Lord has indelibly shown Himself to me, spoken kindly to my spirit and made it easy to continue on in my own terrain of trial and hardship. He tells me each time it’s worth it…and I believe Him.

The day I shot the photo above was no different. As I related in yesterday’s post, I arrived at Fr. Bluff armed and ready with ten chapter 33’s (as this was the very day of the 33rd anniversary of my falling from a cliff – it’s just off-camera, just to the right, but difficult for me to get to). My chair isn’t quite that off-road capable.

Genesis. Exodus. Numbers. Deuteronomy. Second Chronicles.
Job. Psalms. Isaiah. Jeremiah. Ezekiel.

Ten books with a 33rd chapter. None in the New Testament, but these would serve me well. Rhema for days.

Quick synopses:

Genesis 33: Jacob rests in pleasant pasture-town (Shechem) for a season which followed a shuddering reunion with his elder twin. He gets very comfortable, starts to settle, but El-Beth-el awaits. Staying could prove dangerous.

Exodus 33: Israel has danced, Moses has wept and God has judged. The rebellious have been culled and Moses is paralyzed. He won’t go – can’t go – unless he has God’s guarantee for better fortunes than wandering, death and rebels. God steps out in full regalia of glory and says, “Join Me!”

Deuteronomy 33: All that post-slavery Israel had known, held to, counted on and leaned against – their only leader – was going the way of his fathers and things were changing for them. As each somberly passed under Moses’ hand for blessing, they knew as they were walking away, they were walking into a new order.

2 Chronicles 33: I was reminded of my pre-fall ‘Manasseh heart’ – full of pride, self, idols and corruption – and the complete reversal from my repentance from all that – in this place – and the restorative grace of God who always forgives, and will not write off. I worshipped the grace of His receiving me again as a favored son and reformed leader of men.

Job 33: The Lord used Elihu to reveal there are still some lines of dead religion in me and they have no place in where He’s taking me, going forward. He will redeem these out of me as I see them and repent from them, that I might come forth truly as gold. Pray for me as I learn and discern what these are and quickly lay them down!

Psalm 33: I was informed in my spirit that, in the changes ahead, some verrrry difficult days are ahead – on the earth – and that only the faithful in heart will be prepared for what is coming. My days extended out into the unknown mean one thing: to be a guide, evangelist, reconciler and hope-filled saint!

Isaiah 33: Oh, the promises that bloom in this text! So many to expound on, yet the bandwidth here needs to be digested and received in faith! In the horrors of coming days, it is vital the saint of God multiplies faithfulness in both their private and public life, is bold in their witness, dismissive of evil, runs from violence and sees only from a pure heart. Such will: behold the King in His beauty, be shadowed and sheltered from oppression, see and receive the coming glorious Kingdom in full! Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 33: In this particular conversation, God spoke to Jeremiah a “second time” (v1), which begs: what was the “first time”? What was His lead-in? The answer: “Is anything too hard for Me?” (32:26) And here He says, “So ask.” And He offers some ideas: ask Me for the “great and hidden things” (v3) like “health and healing” (v6) when there seems to be little chance. Or how about being “a name of joy” on the lips of the NATIONS? How does that strike you? Interested, Scott? Ask Me for the spread of My Message of Good News into the hardest, most unredeemable places in the earth – and watch Me save them. “Is anything too hard for Me? So…ask.”

Ezekiel 33: Strange how I heard the Lord here. Ezekiel had been muted (33:22; 3:26,27) for 7 years – did you hear that number??? – SEVEN years, except to only speak the hard words of Jehovah. His message of impending judgment by the Babylonians had to be confirmed. Now Ezekiel enters a “new” inauguration since the prophesied has happened. Now what? What message would he have? I have felt muted these past five years (number of grace ha!) with a very limited voice, but now I seem to be entering a season where the muzzle is off and my words may have a chance to carry…a chance…

I skipped a book, didn’t I?

Still with me?

For the three or four of you left, there’s still:

Numbers 33: I’m saving this one for last because, well, quite honestly, I don’t know what God is saying. The entire chapter is the narrating of each and every camp of Israel on the Promised Land side of Egypt. Every camp. Every breaking of camp. Every new camp. For forty years! I was reading along, about 3/4ths of the way through this travelogue, when it reached a break.

More on that break in a short bit.

I thought: let me go back and count the camps. I did. And you know how many camps they broke and set up between years 1 and 39 in the wilderness?

Thirty-three.

33

Albeit with an asterisk.

I’ll explain…

From verse 1 through to a major break in narration in verse 38, there are precisely 33 different campsites Israel parked at. Obviously, some they remained at for days, some months and others for a year, perhaps two. There will be EIGHT (number of new beginnings…sorry) more after the major event of v38.

My focus for this entire two-day post is that one, singular event.

Numbers 33:38-39 (ESV)
38 And Aaron the priest went up Mount Hor at the command of the Lord and died there, in the fortieth year after the people of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, on the first day of the fifth month. 39 And Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.”

Which has me thinking:

What’s my ‘Aaron’ and what does his/its death mean?

Do I die now?

Someone near me?

Aaron’s name means ‘mountain man’ (if parent root is ‘har‘ – mountain), or it means ‘light-bringer’ if its root is ‘or‘ (light). Whatever Aaron’s meaning, I feel certain it is very significant – perhaps the most significant thing I’ll discover this year.

So, I leave it with you, dear reader, to ask the Lord with me as to what it might mean. As my father in the faith would say, not glibly, “It means something.”

I do have a takeaway from ALL ten chapter 33’s. I’m hearing the Lord say to me,

Scott, you’re entering an accelerated, amplified season. Much is shifting. Change – monumental rather than incremental – is looming. It’s time to rise up and GO.”

I feel He’s been preparing me for this for 33 years.

Selah,
Pasture

Broke Back Mountain Man (Year 33) – Part 1

Let me tell you about my recent pilgrimage.

Each year – or every couple – I venture back to the place where it all changed for me. My holy ground spot. My very own Mecca of sorts: Ft. Bluff, Dayton, Tennessee.

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This year’s sacred trek marked the 33rd anniversary of of my near-fatal stumble and spill from an off-limits bluff in the mountains of eastern Tennessee that early October night. A broken back lost me use of my legs. I also lost my favorite jacket in those hills that night, along with a great pair of jeans – each cut off my body to get to the injuries. No, not my legs, just the clothes. [Continue reading]