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I’ve just made the jump from the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) to Joshua in my one-year Bible, which is what I’m using for the majority of my reading. After reading about half of Leviticus and the whole of Numbers and Deuteronomy in just a few short weeks, it was harder to lose Moses than I thought it would be.
It would be peculiar to know you were going to die right then, wouldn’t it? But God takes Moses up on a mountain, shows him the land of Canaan, and then Moses dies. He knows it’s going to happen. I guess he’s ready for it. He isn’t taken up in a cloud or anything – although that’s what you think might happen for one of God’s greatest servants. No, he simply dies.
The end of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, is really beautiful to me.
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. …
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.
Just a few thoughts on this passage:
- God buried Moses. That’s really, really cool. Somehow I imagine it wasn’t easy for God to let Moses die without entering the promised land – and yet, don’t you think He was eager to have Moses with Him fully? That God buried him seems exceptionally tender.
- Moses knew God so personally – “face to face.” He followed instructions, disciplined the people as God told him to, sought God’s wishes on every matter. It reminds me of what Jesus teaches us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Moses sincerely wanted God’s Kingdom on earth and did everything he could to follow God’s instruction.
- Moses faltered, though, and that was why he didn’t get to enter the promised land. Like us, even our greatest biblical heroes were human.
I’m glad to have followed Moses’s life and walk since Exodus. I’m starting to feel more like this part of the Old Testament is a beautiful novel, and I’m itching to pick it back up and read more.
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