Reading: Deuteronomy 34: 1-12
Verse Four: I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.
In today’s passage, we come to the end of Moses’ life. It is a quiet end to the life of a faithful servant. The time in the basket, floating in the river, is 120 years ago. It seems almost like another lifetime. But as we find Moses at 120, he is still strong and is still of good mind. As Moses heads up the mountain, he must sense it is for the last time. Knowing this, the experience must have been bittersweet for him. Yet this humble servant of God continues to walk by faith, right to the end. It is one more testament to Moses’ close personal relationship with God.
Moses has spent the last 40+ years of his life first leading the chosen people to freedom and then through their desert wanderings. It has been a hard life at times. It has also been wonderful at times. First Moses had to deal with Pharaoh’s hard heart and then he spent forty years with a stiff-necked, complaining bunch. There seemed to always be a crisis or an issue to deal with. Moses had made frequent trips up the mountain to meet with God. On occasion Moses even had to deal with God, standing on behalf of this people. Moses has given much of himself to these people and all of himself to God.
Once up the mountain, God once again blesses Moses. The divine judgment stands, yet this day love and grace rule. God says to Moses, “I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it”. In a vision, God allows Moses to see the whole Promised Land. Although he will not enter into it, God gives Moses a great virtual tour. Yes, the judgment stands, but God offers one last blessing to His faithful servant. Moses sees the fruit of his many years of service – the Promised Land.
A lesser man would have come down the mountain disappointed. But Moses has no regrets. He has lived a life of service to the God and people he loves. Moses returns to his people one last time and quietly passes on to eternal life with God. May we too strive to live such a life. May it be so.