We occasionally hear stories of someone who, in whatever field or endeavor, worked their whole life toward a goal, only to fall just short of it at the end. Moses was like that in many ways. He was jealous for his kindred people and led the new nation of Israel out of Egypt, right up to the very door of the Promised Land, only to be unable to enter into it himself. But God in his grace made it possible for Moses to see it from afar. And in the moments before his death, God took him to a place where the land could be seen – an incredible view from Mt. Nebo, then and now (see illustration). Moses saw it, died at that spot, and was buried by the Lord himself!
The ending paragraphs serve as a bridge to the next book – the book of Joshua and the conquest of the Promised Land. The account here records that Joshua was successful in the leadership of Israel because God was with him, and because Moses had transferred the leadership to him by laying hands on him.
The final paragraph is an amazing eulogy. The text says that there has not been another prophet in Israel like Moses – he was the #1 guy! Pretty impressive! Moses knew God face to face; there was no other one who had quite that same relationship. The final words speak of how God used Moses powerfully to release the people from Israel and to guide them all along the way.
For those who have made the journey with us through Deuteronomy, I hope you have been even marginally as blessed as I have been through this great piece of the Scriptures. Moses (pictured) and I both thank you for reading our stuff! I hope you have been revived! I believe we have been as a church.
In two days we begin a new series entitled “Cross Words” … and again there will be Monday-Friday devotionals throughout the six-week period. I encourage you to sign up for these by going to www.CrossWordsTSF.org … and follow along with us again!
The Death of Moses
34 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 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.
9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit 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.