‘O Lord God , you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what God is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’
Moses is addessing the nation and his words are designed to move them to a total commitment to Jehovah. Obedience is emphasized. He longed to see his vision of forty years fulfilled, that is, to behold the land before he died. However, through his disobedience when smiting the rock twice instead of speaking to it, his entering that good land would never become a reality.
Nothing would have pleased Moses more than to see the army of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, conquering the land. The request of Moses was not as selfish as some would make us believe. But God had other plans for his servant. Because of one error, he was denied his request. Should not this impress us with the seriousness of sin? He lost the privilege of entering into the good land. Thus we not only behold the goodness of God, but also His severity!
Can we be blameless? In the office of elders and deacons, we have been reminded to be blameless (1 Tim 3). The word blameless simply means that they cannot be called into account, and that they are unreproveable. A tough call!
Being not blameless, we forfeit the right to assume any public position before the people of God, such as being an elder, evangelist, teacher, or deacon. Sad to say, this truth is being minimized today.
Let us remember whilst we are graciously been granted mercy upon mercy from God. “How many times did Moses grievously sin for God to deny his entering into the land?” Little do we understand or appreciate the infinite holiness of God. What a warning to all of us, especially those whom the Lord has appointed leaders of the flock. One slip, one careless moment, and a valuable position and work could be forever forfeited.
Lord, help us to keep holy!
The last recorded prayer of Moses is most pathetic, yet very enlightening. May we all profit from it!
Elder Andrew Lim