Moses was a man without a country. He led Israel toward Canaan, but himself died east of the border. He was also a man without a home, an adopted waif brought up in the palace of Egypt. Yet he was no lonely, lost twentieth-century man, his destiny and origin unknown. Unlike many of our contemporaries, he did not regard the universe as unfriendly, hostile to those values for which a man lives. Toward life he developed no Promethean defiance, that inverted despair currently called “the courage to be.” Without home, without country, he lived nonetheless without despair.
It was not because his life was an unbroken pleasantry that he escaped the withering despair of loneliness and futility. He was saved from these because he knew God was his creator, his friend and home. He also knew that when his pilgrimage was ended he would by the mercy of God turn again home. God was his home. “Thou art our dwelling place.… Before the mountains were brought forth or ever thou hadst formed the world.…” In later echo, Our hearts are restless O God, until they rest in thee.
Creation means that God is the true home of man’s spirit. When man loses this knowledge, he is a lost man, unable to take bearings to determine where he is, or where he should go.
With the loss of this knowledge, man also loses the knowledge of self. Not knowing of whom he is the son, he knows not who he is. Like Socrates, he thinks himself now divine, now demonic. Estranged from his father, he is stranger to himself.
That God is creator means also that beyond the universe is a reality rightly called Father; that behind all the loneliness of lost man is a transcendent, seeking love. By creating the world, God reveals that he is fatherly, an out-going, self-giving God, who willed ...1
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