“STILL BE MY VISION”
Lord, we appreciate what Moses means to all of us.
Read DEUTERONOMY 34
The Death of Moses
34 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land—from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 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.”
5 And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him[a] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over.
9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit[b] of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
a Deuteronomy 34:6 Or He was buried
b Deuteronomy 34:9 Or Spirit
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“High King of heaven, my victory won, / May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun! / Heart of my own heart, whatever befall, / Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all” (Eleanor Hull, 1860–1935).
On the eve of his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. said: “I’ve been to the mountaintop… I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land!” On the eve of his death, Moses climbs Mount Nebo and ascends the peak of Pisgah… God shows him the Promised Land (1) but warns that he will not enter it (4). Moses is an old man. Yet, though “no longer able to lead” (Deut. 31:2), we read, “his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone” (7). Whether or not this refers to his physical condition, it aptly describes Moses’ spiritual state: his spiritual vision remains undimmed and his spiritual vigor undiminished. Moses has “persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Heb. 11:27), confident that God would lead his people to the Promised Land. Picture Moses singing, “Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all”!
Although prohibited from entering the land, in this final scene of his earthly life God permits Moses a glimpse of Israel’s future glory, allowing him to see the Promised Land (4). Much later in the drama, Moses will reappear on the stage—now located within the Promised Land itself—as one of the key supporting actors in that unforgettable stage where God’s glory is revealed in the transfiguration (Matt. 17:1–8)!
Moses’ epitaph is not written on a tombstone (6) but rather in God’s Word. This great “servant” (5) stands unique among Israel’s prophets (10–12), yet his finest tribute is surely that he was one “whom the Lord knew face to face” (10). From another mountain, the Sermon on the Mount warns us that a relationship with Jesus is indispensable for our salvation (Matt. 7:21–23).
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your intimacy with the Lord? How will you guard and grow in this intimacy?
Lord, we thank You for giving Your people the only epitaph that ultimately means anything of eternal substance: saved by the blood of the Lamb.
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