Read: Deuteronomy 34
Review: There is so much more about Moses to explore, but for now we will focus on his death. After reminding the Israelites of their history together Moses knows his time is over. God has told him he won’t enter the promised land, and the time to enter has arrived.
Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms,as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”
5 And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him[a] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.
God buried Moses. Moses lived 120 years and in that time we learn a lot about him. We learn that he questions God, that he got angry with him. Moses didn’t always trust God, and he lost perspective more than once. Moses was a murder and yet God still loved him. God loved Moses deeply and he was set apart. Moses saw the glory of God so closely his face glowed. Moses had direct contact with God and spoke to him as a friend.
9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit[b] of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
The Lord knew Moses face to face. Joshua became the next leader because Moses laid hands on him.
Record: Do you think the relationship Moses and God has is possible for you and God? What do you think Moses did to set himself apart? Who do you have in your life that seems to have a unique relationship with God? What sets them apart?
Reflect: I’ve been really weepy today. I had a hard time placing the emotion, but writing this out I can’t help but wonder if God laid that emotion on my heart. I’m traveling for work so this is being written from a hotel room. My babies are asleep at home and I won’t see them for three days. I can’t imagine how Moses felt knowing the people he had nurtured would soon move on without him. He had seen them all be born and yet he would now leave them. The ache in his heart must have been a thousand times deeper than mine, and yet God comforts us both.
I wonder if Moses reviewed his life as it neared an end. Did he regret his doubt? Had he made peace with it? I wonder if Moses regretted his time in the wilderness?
As I drove today for several hours I was blessed with the sighting of a huge rainbow in the sky. I couldn’t take a picture of its size but it started on one mountain range and ended on another. An arch with wide colored bands. It was in that moment I realized my weekend had been foggy. I couldn’t focus in church, I couldn’t focus as I read my bible and I couldn’t focus as I prepared for a bible study. The edge of the wilderness was drawing near, and my heart knew what could happen if I didn’t fight.
As worship music filled my car I asked God to draw near. This is similar to different times in Moses’ life when he asked God to reveal himself. Moses heard God’s voice audibly, I felt an immediate lifting of my heart. The ache was replaced with a calmness. The wilderness is always looming these days, but today I did not enter. I wonder if Moses dealt with similar temptations.