The days had finally arrived. The people of Israel had finally made the transformation from liberated slaves to empowered chosen people of God. Moses had passed the baton to Joshua and had properly mentored and encouraged him to lead these people–but in the shadow of almighty God. God made provision for the women and children, he properly encouraged the able-bodied fighting men and now all that was left was to possess the land.
But, Moses still held out a bit of hope that God would show grace and allow him the joy of entering the land he had spent so much of his life preparing for. Sadly, God said no. It was a hard punishment for an otherwise brilliant leader. The lessons are numerous:
1) No matter how difficult things become, we have to trust and obey the Lord God. As leaders, if we fail to do that the implications could be catastrophic,
2) God prepares each of us for a purpose; we must be content to serve as the Lord has planned for us to serve.
3) God does not change His mind. Even though we want him to many times, God’s plans are final.
4) What lies ahead for us in eternity is so much more than the finest things we can find here on earth. So set your heart and mind on the eternal.
Moses had to be content to simply look out at what God had for his people. He would never be able to taste the fruit from the land of inheritance. Still, God would bless him in ways he could not yet imagine; by simply allowing him to see his student so completely trust and follow God–that the mission he started would finish with so much more than he would have ever dreamed. It was now Joshua’s time, and Moses had to be thrilled to know he prepared this man for what lie ahead.
God Bless You
I commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. 19 However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, 20 until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.”
Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan
21 At that time I commanded Joshua: “You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. The Lord will do the same to all the kingdoms over there where you are going. 22 Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”
23 At that time I pleaded with the Lord: 24 “Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? 25 Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.”
26 But because of you the Lord was angry with me and would not listen to me. “That is enough,” the Lord said. “Do not speak to me anymore about this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and look west and north and south and east. Look at the land with your own eyes, since you are not going to cross this Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua, and encourageand strengthen him, for he will lead this people across and will cause them to inherit the land that you will see.” 29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.