“We read that Moses, disobeying God’s command
To strike the rock in God’s strength, not his own,
Might see, but might not enter, Canaan,
The promised land.
Again we read that Peter, James and John,
Standing with Christ upon the mountain,
Saw a great light fall upon Him,
And standing with the Christ, transfigured,
were Moses and Elias.
In God’s own time
Moses had reached the promised land.” (By Mary Rinehart Hoge)
As I began to read the Bible years ago, there were things that troubled me. Such as why did God accept Abel’s sacrifice and not Cain’s? (Genesis 4:1-6) Why on several occasions did the Lord give Israel marching orders, which included exterminating women and children? (i.e. Joshua 6:17, 21) And one that stuck in my craw: Why wasn’t Moses allowed to enter the promised land when he had been so faithful to God? Scripture says, “The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) It also says of Moses: “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) And Moses forsook the “the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.” (Hebrews 11:24-26)
How’s that for a resume? Nevertheless, because Moses had struck the rock in the wilderness of Zin instead of speaking to it, he could only gaze upon the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:1-13) “Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land…” (Deuteronomy 34:1) Then Moses died.
At the time, I thought, how sad. Moses did such great things for God (or is it God did such great things through Moses?), and all he wanted was to get to the promised land. But he came up short. Then one day while reading a book of poetry written by my great aunt, I came to the poem above. I had never made the connection, and it filled me with awe at the faithfulness of the Heavenly Father. In God’s own time, Moses had made it to his longed-for destination. It reminded me that when we are born, we are born into eternity. The steps we take in this brief life upon the earth are steps either toward God and His Way or away from God and His Way. It is the direction we chose here that we will walk in forever. So Moses had, in fact, just kept right on walking, finding that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39) We will never come up short in Christ.
It was said of Moses that he was a friend of God. It was said of Moses that he was the most humble person of his time. It was said of Moses that he chose God’s direction leading to the Promised Land rather than the world’s course leading to Egypt. What will be said of us?