Read Deuteronomy 34:1-12
God had promised the land to Abraham and his descendants centuries earlier. Unfortunately, they only spent three generations there before famine forced them to Egypt where there was food. But, for whatever reasons, when the seven-year famine ended, God’s people remained in the land of the pyramids. Another 400 years passed before God raised up Moses as a deliverer. Through powerful displays of signs and miracles, this great prophet led the people out of bondage.
The route they took to the Promised Land was not a direct one. Their disobedience and lack of trust caused them to wander for 40 years. Now, finally, the land…their land…was within sight; especially if you were standing on top of Mount Nebo. From that vantage point, Moses was able to see the land where the twelve tribes would soon settle.
This must have been a moving moment for Moses. He had given the last decades of his life to lead the people towards obedience and towards this destination. The realization of that dream was within sight. But that moment was also likely moving for Moses because he knew he would not personally enter into the land. You see, years earlier, he and Aaron had failed to treat God as holy. They disobeyed God’s instructions by striking a rock when He had told them to speak to it (Numbers 20). As a result, Moses died as a strong man with great sight shortly thereafter.
There are consequences for our disobedience, aren’t there? Moses’ experience is a prime example of that. And yet, in spite of his disobedience, Moses was forgiven and even honored by God. God graciously allowed Moses to see the land. He saw to it that incredible words of eulogy were recorded in these final lines of Deuteronomy. And the
Lord Himself personally cared for the burial of this great prophet. Although his disobedience had consequences, it did not define Moses in the end.
All of our lives are punctuated with disobedience that must break the heart of God. Even though our disobedience may have repercussions, when we fall upon His forgiving grace, we are not defined by those mistakes.