July 8 - Deuteronomy 34:4-6

Monday, July 8, 2013

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.” 

And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.

This is one of those passages that just breaks my heart.  After all Moses had gone through, he was only allowed to see the Promised Land, not enter it.

Then, I thought about it a little more and realized that Moses had known for years he wasn't going to be allowed into the Promised Land. Yet, he never stopped. He pressed his people forward and listened to God year after year.

He compiled the Law and ensured that the Israelites were aware of their role in history and their relationship with the Creator. He walked and walked, establishing the twelve tribes of Israel into a great nation as they crossed the desert.  Everything he did, even knowing that he wouldn't set foot in Israel’s new home, he did because of the relationship he personally had with God.

We expect to be lauded for our efforts, to see completion of the things we begin.  We want there to be a final moment when we know that we have done a job and done it well.  It would seem that Moses came up just short of that.

And yet, the Lord is the one who buried Moses.  He had spent time in the glorious presence of the Lord and at the end, Jewish legend tells us that the Lord kissed him and he died.

God might bring us right up to the edge of what we believe to be our greatest achievement and then move us past that.  His desire for our lives may be very different from that which we desire for ourselves.

But, God will always be with us … even to and beyond … the end of our lives on earth.