Monday, July 16, 2007

Deuteronomy 3:21–29

Deuteronomy 3:21–29: Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan

Synopsis

In this passage, we are given more of the story of Moses being forbidden to enter the Promised Land.

First, Moses reminds Joshua that the LORD has helped the Israelites, thus far, and will continue to do so.

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. Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you.” (verses 21–22)

He then pleads with the LORD, one last time, to go into the Promised Land.

At that time I pleaded with the LORD: “O 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? Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.” (verses 23–25)

However, the LORD is having none of it:

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. 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.” (verses 26–27)

God then instructs Moses to encourage and strengthen Joshua, who is going to lead the people into the land.

Thoughts

When Moses is pleading with the LORD to be allowed to enter the Promised Land, it may sound like he’s just flattering the LORD, trying to butter Him up. However, I don’t think this is the case; I think Moses really means all that he says, to God. And, what’s more, I think that he still continues to believe it, even when God turns down his request. What Moses understood, probably better than most of us, is that God is just.

He is still, however, clinging to the notion that God is angry with him because of the Israelites.
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