“Then the Lord said to him. This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying ‘I will give it to your descendants;’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there” (Deuteronomy 34:4). Moses, leader of the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt, rescued from the waters of the Nile River while still a small baby, Moses was destined for greatness, God preserved him miraculously for future use. Moses lived 120-years, and his life story is divided into three forty-year segments. The first forty-years were spent in Pharaoh’s palace, the next forty-years tending his father-in-law’s herds and the last forty-years leading the Children of Israel in the desert. Like Moses, we do not what phase of life we may be in when the Lord calls us to his purposes, we have to be ready.
After losing the argument with God about his qualifications to do His bidding, Moses reluctantly obeyed and began the greatest epic of human suffering and rescue in Biblical history. There is no need to question God’s control over the world, God intended to bring Israel back into the Promised Land, He had spoken it and He would do it. When that seemed least likely to happen, it was closer than ever to happening. In the darkest hour of Israel’s enslavement, God was busy working to deliver them to the land which had been promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Before Moses death he would live a spectacular life as a law-giver, leader “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face-to-face” (Deuteronomy 34:10). To carry out these wonderful things Moses had to fulfill one obligation, obey God. Unfortunately, Moses became angry soon after the people began to complain once more for lack of water. God instructed Moses to speak to a rock that would bring forth water to satisfy the needs of the people. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck it twice with his rod.
The water came forth in great abundance, but God rebuked Moses; “Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore, ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them” (Numbers 20:12) The nature of the sin was disobedience in the eyes of God, Moses apparently had taken to himself honor that belonged to God alone. Because of the sin, he was denied the privilege of leading the Israelites into the Promised Land.
Israel was on the doorstep of the land which had been promised to them, but their appointed leader would not be blessed with entering. The punishment may seem too severe for the sin, but it shows that the privileged role of divine leadership given to Moses carried with it an unusual measure of responsibility. Today, the fulfillment of God’s promises seems unlikely to many believers. God’s promises offer blessing or curses, the opportunity to obey or disobey, as well as, deliverance or denial.
If God has instructed you to do something follow His instructions to the letter. Do not let a single act of disobedience provoke God to deny His blessings to you. To receive the best of what God offers we need only believe Him. God has spoken it, and God will do it. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Moses’ Flight Into Midian; The Burning Bush; His Commission to Free The Nation of Israel; His Return to Egypt (socyberty.com)