Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Joshua, Son of Nun

Icon, Joshua, Son of Nun, Leader of the Israelites after Moses, by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2011

Joshua is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel (Num 13-14) and, in few passages, as Moses's assistant; however, he turns out to be the central character in the O.T. Book of Joshua. According to the books Exodus, Numbers and Joshua, he became the leader of the Israelite tribes after the death of Moses; his name was Hoshea the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, but Moses called him Joshua, (Numbers 13:16) the name by which he is commonly known.

According to Joshua 1:1-9, Moses appointed Joshua to succeed him as leader of the Israelites. The first part of the book of Joshua covers the period when he led the conquest of Canaan.  At the Jordan River, the waters parted, as they had for Moses at the Red Sea. The first battle after the crossing of the Jordan was the Battle of Jericho. The Israelites faced an alliance of Amorite kings from Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.  Then later, at Gibeon, Joshua asked God to cause the sun and moon to stand still, so that he could finish the battle in daylight. This event is most notable because "there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. (Joshua 10:14).  Joshua was born in Egypt prior to the exodus and he lived to the grand old age of 110 and was buried north of Mount Gaash.

The English name, Joshua, is a rendering of the Hebrew language "Yehoshua", meaning "Yahweh is salvation". "Jesus" is the English of the Greek transliteration of "Yehoshua" via Aramaic. In the Septuagint, all instances of the word "Yehoshua" are rendered as (Iēsoūs/Jesus), the closest Greek pronunciation of the Aramaic "Yeshua". Thus in Greek Joshua is called "Jesus son of Nun" (του Ναυή) to differentiate him from Jesus Christ. Joshua and Jesus are called with the same name, adding Navin ("son of Nun") for Joshua. Among the early Church Fathers, Joshua is considered a type of Jesus Christ.  For instance, just as Moses did not lead the children of Israel into the promised land, but Joshua did, so Moses' law could not lead them into Heaven but the new covenant mediated by Jesus (the same name as "Joshua") could.  Hebrews 4:8-10 identifies Jesus as a better Joshua, as Joshua led Israel into the rest of Canaan, but Jesus leads the people of God into "God's rest," salvation.

I remember as a child learning the words to the old spiritual "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho".  I loved to sing that song and sang it with great gusto much to the dismay of those standing nearby!  In preparing this posting, I went and looked up the words for that grand old song and am including them here:

Chorus: Joshua fit the battle of Jericho Jericho Jericho;
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho And the walls came tumbling down.

1. You may talk about your kings of Gideon, You may talk about your men of Saul
But there's none like good old Joshua At the battle of Jericho. Chorus:

2. Now the Lord commanded Joshua; "I command you and obey you must;
You just march straight to those city walls And the walls will turn to dust." Chorus:

3. Straight up to the walls of Jericho He marched with spear in hand,
"Go blow that ram's horn," Joshua cried, "For the battle is in my hand." Chorus:

4. The lamb ram sheep horns began to blow, And the trumpets began to sound,
And Joshua commanded, "Now children, shout!" And the walls came tumbling down. Chorus:



Autumn "wall-to-wall" carpeting!

It seems that ever since I started focusing on "Autumn", I have come across a number of photos that show various aspects of this beautiful time of year.  This is one of them.  Whoever took this photograph did an excellent job, but, of course, the Person who created the scene in the first place gets the most praise!



Like all creatures, cats have their unique way of doing things -- and many of these make us laugh because of the "catness" of their behaviour.  Below are some photos that I find show how delightful that cat-behaviour can be. 

Cat (Kitten) Teamwork
Cats are the only creature I know of that cannot stand to see a closed door.  Over the years, every single cat I have shared my life with has always behaved in the same fashion whenever a door was shut.  I mean, they have no interest in going into a particular room until someone shuts the door.  Then they suddenly appear, position themselves right outside of that closed door and wait... for a minute or two.  Then the scratching and meowing begins and continues until someone opens the door for them.  Once the door is open, they quickly enter, check out the room, leave and return to their favourite sleeping chair.  Here we see two determined kittens finding a way to open a closed door using what appears to be teamwork!

Whoever said cats can't fly had never seen cats participating in serious play fighting!
When cats play at fighting, they can do the most amazing things with their bodies.  These actions are usually not only amazing but extremely graceful as well.  All those beautiful muscles working together and enabling the cats to almost appear to dance through the air.  I wonder how it feels to have such strength and co-ordination so that you can twist and turn in the air and still land on your feet? 

"Uh-oh!  I thought I saw a pussy cat!  I did.  I did!" (quote from Tweety Bird)
This pigeon had better get a move on if he expects to survive to fly again tomorrow!  Whoever captured this moment was truly in the right place at the right time.  The expressions on the cats faces combined with their body language says it all.  Nothing sets a cat into attack mode more quickly than the sight of a bird.  This, like it or not, is true "catness"

"Yum!  More cream please"
But, if you can't have pigeon pie, why not have some thick cream?  This cat is totally focused on getting that spoon to its mouth one more time!  One of the reasons I enjoyed this photo so much is because of the cat's tongue.  As I have told you previously, my one claim to fame when I was in elementary school was my ability to stick out my tongue and touch the top of my nose with it.  On occasion, people would come to me and say that they had heard that I could touch my nose with my tongue and that they didn't believe it.  I never failed to impress them with my "talent".  Sadly, with the advent of my store-bought teeth, I can no longer do this!



Suki at her food dish -- an unhappy cat!

Suki is sound asleep at the moment; however, earlier today we were engaged in a struggle of wills over her food.  Lately, she has decided that all she really wants of her wet food is the gravy.  I will put her plate down and when I look in her direction a couple of minutes later, she is gone, her dish is still full of food with all the gravy licked off of it! 

I decided today that I simply was not going to put up with this nonsense any more and so every time she asked for food, I put the same dish back down in front of her.  She expressed her disdain by scratching the floor around the dish in the same way she does when she is covering up her mess in her litter box!  As you can imagine, this is a very expressive gesture!

Finally, by mid-afternoon, she was so hungry that I sensed victory.  I sprinkled the same old food with a bit of warm water and set it down in front of her again.  Amazingly, she ate it.  I have had cats that would go on a hunger strike for a couple of days rather than eat anything they did not want.  Suki's hunger got the best of her. 

Now she is a very happy cat once again and has gone to sleep.  The real test will be when I serve her a bedtime snack -- will she actually eat it or just lick the gravy off once again?!

As for me, I have another story to tell you about the same elevator that played such a large part in my "Sallie" story in the previous posting.  I am now convinced that the thing is truly possessed!  Here, then, are the events of Tuesday, November 8th.

As you may recall from my previous posting, I had tried to go to the wrong meeting.  The meeting I wanted to attend was scheduled for this past Tuesday, November 8th, not November 1st.  So, the meeting was scheduled to start at 12:45 in the basement of the parish hall at the Cathedral.  I attended noon Mass and left the Cathedral at about 12:35 to cross the street to the parish hall.  I managed to get into the hall entryway where the receptionist came and helped me get into the elevator -- this tiny little box of an elevator.  Once I was locked in, she tried to send it down to the lower level.  It did not work.  This gave me an uneasy feeling; however, she said that she would go and get the maintenance man to use his special skills to get the elevator to move.  Soon the maintenance man was there trying to make the elevator move.  He was unsuccessful.  I began to pray seriously because when they suggested that I get out of the elevator so that they could try it from the inside, it was discovered that the door would not open -- for some reason, the elevator thought it was in service and so the door remained firmly locked.  Once again, I was locked into that little box only this time I was surrounded by people who were peering over the edge of the elevator "hole".  Now I was not only worried, but I began to feel like an exhibit at the zoo! 

At one point there were five or six people all looking over the edge and offering their varied opinions as to why things were not working properly while, at the same time, telling me not to worry -- all would be well.  I managed to keep a happy face, but I was not so happy on the inside as I had visions of spending the rest of my life in this little box being looked down upon by each passerby.  Finally one of the maintenance people found a way to get the door open.  What relief!  However, that relief was short lived as we discovered that all our attempts at getting the elevator to move had lowered it just enough from the floor level so that I could not back out.  Now the maintenance people went off to find some boards that they could put under my back wheels that would act as a ramp.  Once they had the boards in place, I was able to force my chair to move backwards and was finally free!  The time was 1:12.  I had been in the elevator for almost 30 minutes!  Fortunately, the same Theresa I mentioned in my previous posting stayed with me the whole time.  I don't know if I would have been able to keep my composure without her friendly presence and encouragement.  By the way, by the time I was freed from the "box", I was too exhausted to want to attend the meeting and just turned and ran my chair at top speed all the way home whereupon I took myself to bed and rested, giving great thanks to God for my deliverance.

In December, there will be another meeting in the basement of the parish hall that I very much want to attend.  However, attending will require me to get in that elevator once again as that is the only way for a wheelchair to get down to the basement level.  I intend to send up a number of prayers for the trust I will need to get on that elevator once again!  I may even ask one of the priests to perform an exorcism on that contraption.  Stay tuned.

Remember to keep praying for the holy souls during this month of November.
May the peace of God be with us all.

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