From the day Moses met God in the burning bush, he was never the same again. As Chapter 34:10-12 states, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.”
Little Moses, saved in the woven basket in the reeds of the Nile became great Moses, leader, servant, prophet, man of God. To the end, he was ever devoted to his God and His people. Moses song as he died was, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Ps. 90:14) Satisfied was he, though he never entered the Promised Land. All he ever needed in his life was God’s unfailing love.
Though I have studied Moses before, I never have had such a joy in knowing him through simply reading through each word in Scripture. This time, he wasn’t just a leader who God empowered. He was real. He was vulnerable. He had a temper (even killed a man, and struck the rock at Meribah, and threw the commandment stones in a fit of anger. Okay, can you tell that I actually like that Moses got angry, too?) He was human with flaws, and God still managed to use him.
And this week, we say goodbye to him. We feel his sadness as Moses overlooks the Promised Land. We feel his urgency as he reminds Israel of all they’ve learned and strict commands to follow with detail those commands the Lord had laid before Him. We feel his emotion as he tells Joshua to be courageous and Israel, encourage him. Make his work lighter than mine. Help him. He is anointed as God’s leader, and he will be yours. Nobody worry, if you stay close to God. Trust in Him, and be careful to follow the provisions He has made for you.
Moses’ farewell was not once about his own greatness but about God’s faithfulness, His power, and His anointing presence over Israel. Nothing Moses said was self elevating. His sole concern was how his people would survive as he surrendered his duties.
So the Lord gathered Moses unto his people, and the Lord’s Hand buried Moses. (Deut. 34:5,6) God knew that Moses could have been elevated after his death and very easily could have become an idol and a stumbling block for Israel to move forward into the Promised Land. Though Moses was being disciplined because of Meribah not to enter the Promised Land, (he was 120 and still strong, according to Deuteronomy 34:5-8.), he died in the fullness of his faith and love for His Lord. His last moments were tender, spent in the intimacy with God alone. He was given a special honor in God burying him Himself. The Book of Deuteronomy ends as the people of God look for another prophet as great as Moses. That day finally was fulfilled when Christ Jesus entered the world, not only as God’s servant, but His Son, surpassing Moses. (see Hebrews 3:1-6)
Each week as we read through sacred Scriptures, I have found this verse to be my theme. (31:47) “They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.” Scripture is never idle words. Life abundant can be found on each page: Good Friday, as we read the words, “and He breathed His last.” I still cried. And, the glorious resurrection revelation in Luke says, “He is not here but has risen!” How can it fall fresh each time? How can it not grow old? Mysteries abound in Scripture, but no mistake, His Words are Life.
And I close this week in a peculiar order, going back to chapter 33 because the final blessing of the tribes of Israel is also our own claim as God’s children. In chapter 33 verse 29, Moses proclaims
“Blessed are you, O Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD ?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will trample down their high places.”
There is none like You, Lord, as we witness still Your Hand for Israel to this day. This blessing stands and will stand forever. It is so amazing that such a small country that is in the Middle East can endure so many enemies, but it is the Lord who fights their battles, and woe to the man who comes against Israel, God’s chosen ones. As I read this, I pray the United States is always a friend to Israel, that we do not stand against her, that we rightfully fear our Lord and show Him the reverence of this command. For Israel is God’s chosen people saved by the Lord.
As we share in the inheritance of this blessing, it becomes our own to claim as well. As Christians, we are blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit. Who else has the Lord to save us, to protect and help and equip us with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God? Blessed are we indeed with His Resurrection power and His amazing gifts. For more glorious testimonies of how His Word speaks to His people, visit Bev each week at her Cover to Cover post.
One final note to say I need a little break. My computer time sucks up my day and I want to honor God. Not sure how often I’ll post, but I am hearing a nudging to take back my real life with a little self discipline and order. I am missing out on God’s alone time with me talking about it with others. What’s wrong with that picture? It won’t be long until I have a little writing cottage to spend time there, and I will be blogging some at that point. We need a refuge away to “Be still.” I know God is waiting for me to give Him more of me.
I will still be doing Cover to Cover with you and I am most blessed to have you each as my traveling companions. I will probably be posting on Bev’s comment page though instead, or leave a short post here, but the rest is on sabbatical for a while. God go with each of you, and feel free to email me if you have time. Thank you for reading and wading through these long posts. I am so blessed to have met each of you, and when life is in balance again, I will return. Meanwhile, moderation in everything calls me back to His Feet.
Much love and blessing,