Numbers 30-36 and Deuteronomy 1-12
As I started to write what lingered this week in our online Bible readings, “Cover to Cover,” I told myself I would not write a book again, but frankly, I can’t seem to help myself. One more week, and then I will try to be concise. You probably have noticed before now that concise is not a hallmark of my writing so I hope you’re not getting your hopes up too much for next week.
So much emotion lingers for me this week again as I hurt for Moses and see his heart as he prepares to die, and prepares his people to go forward without him. For more (and concise) insights on these readings, visit Bev, as she hosts Cover to Cover each Monday. It blesses me each week to see such beautiful hearts for God–deep hearts who love Him.
(Deut 3:23-26) “At that time, I pleaded with the Lord…” How my heart aches for Moses. He pleads with the Lord, but there is consequence to his sin at Merribah. Yet Moses says “because of you…” He still doesn’t confess that it was his own sin that caused him not to go into the Promised Land with his people. It crushes my heart to know how he loved his friends, his brother and sister, his people whom he had been entrusted to for forty years who did not see this promised gift come to fruition. Imagine how much it must have pained God. He loved Moses. He showed him His Glory and it shown on his face. He talked with him as a friend talks with his friend. He showed Him deliverance and provision and direction more than any man had seen since the fall of Adam—forty years of knowing his God intimately. Moses had asked God for favors before and God graciously granted them. I have to ask if it was because Moses did not take responsibility for his sin that maybe God might have granted Him the desire of his heart. I don’t know. I just know it hurts. My heart aches for Moses as he begs God, and yet how much more have I sinned against Him and missed a Promised Land intended for me.
Be careful to watch yourselves closely and teach your children. (4:10-11) “be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.” I heard a priest once say, “We are only one generation away from a Godless society” meaning that it is up to us to teach our children those things of God. Of course, God will always protect a remnant, but may we not let our children fall away on our watch, that the remnant not only remain but increase.
As Isaac gave Jacob his dying blessing, and Jacob blessed each of Joseph’s sons, now Moses, knowing his time is short, reminds his surrogate children of God’s goodness and blesses them with mighty and powerful words of direction and promise. From the one whom the Lord gave the commands, Moses himself blessed Israel with the commandments once more with a promise and joy that he knows he personally will not see. All through the next chapters, he reminds them of their victories with God, that they are a chosen people of God, that they have seen Him, that they know the right things to do because He has shown them Himself. Moses reminds them of their mistakes also, and warns them that there will be consequences. He gives a full accounting of their forty years of wealth in the desert. (5:32) So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”
The Lord shows me continually a history of provision that I have lacked nothing. The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything (2:7) I am so blessed in my 40+ years of seeing His mighty Hand on my life. I can do no other than to be in awe and love my amazing God who never has once failed me.
It is not surprising to me that in God’s perfect timing as the Israelites are about to enter the Promised Land, we are about to end forty days of Lent to celebrate the deliverance of God’s people through His sacrificial and mighty Lamb of God. May we walk together through the Passion of our Christ that we may partake of the fullness of the Resurrection Easter morning with blessed and powerfully resurrected lives. Easter awaits.