I've always read the story of the Israelites FINALLY reaching the Promised Land and felt so sorry for Moses.
Think about all He had done......
He had stretched himself WAY out of his comfort zone (he didn't even feel like he was a good speaker)......
He had been such a great leader, leading thousands out of Egypt and trusting God to open the Red Sea so they could all cross.....
He had put up with such a whiny, ungrateful group of followers......
He had delivered the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, written with the very finger of God, to the Israelite people after spending 40 days on a mountain with no food or water.......
only to find them worshipping a calf made of gold.
But he messed up.
He lost his temper when the Israelites demanded water; and instead of simply telling the rock to give them water like God had told him to do, he struck the rock twice n his rage and then commanded it to give water.
God did not like this disobedience.
I read some theories this morning that explained WHY this was such a significant act of disobedience; and if you have time, you should Google the question, "Why didn't Moses get to enter the Promised Land?"
But for today, I think it is enough to say, "Do what God says..nothing more, nothing less."
Now, here is my point for sharing all of this, and here is what I felt God was revealing to me today from this story:
As Moses and the Israelites approached the Promised Land, and Moses knew the time had come for the people to finally enter it, he begged God to let him enter saying, "Please let me cross the Jordan to see the wonderful land on the other side, the beautiful hill country and the Lebanon mountains."
But Scripture says that God was so angry that He wouldn't listen. He said, "That's enough, speak of it no more. But go up to Pisgah Peak and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River."
My first thought has always been, "Why was God so hard on Moses?"
But as I read this passage this morning, it occurred to me that God knew something Moses didn't.
God knew that life still wouldn't be easy for the Israelites even though they were in the land that had been promised to them.
They were still on this planet.
They were still in a world mixed up in terrible sin.
MOSES WASN'T GOING TO HAVE DEAL WITH THIS WORLD ANYMORE!!!!!!! MOSES WAS GOING HOME!!! Talk about a Promised Land!
God knew what Moses had forgotten!
How often do we cling to promises this world offers - a better job, a healing from a sickness, a perfect marriage - and forget that our primary focus should be on our eternal destination!?!?
Hebrews 11 commends Moses for his faith. It doesn't criticize him for his mistakes. It goes on to say that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, and it doesn't mention that Moses isn't there. So I'm thinking that in spite of God's anger on that day, He had every intention of scooping Moses up and bringing Him Home where he would be experiencing MUCH, MUCH MORE joy than he ever would have in an earthly promised land!!
I love that thought!
I also love that even though God was angry with Moses, He allowed him to climb to a peak where he could see all the land his people would be enjoying. God knew this was important to Moses, and God knew it would be enough to just "see" the destination to which he had been guiding the Israelites all of those years.
This morning, I am thankful for a merciful God.
Heaven is going to be amazing, and I can't wait to hug Moses and all the other men and women who set such great examples for us and yet messed up from time to time........
They give me hope, and they also help me feel very normal when I deal with earthly struggles.
Today, I hope you will think of Moses when you see water running from a faucet, in a stream, anywhere......
Think of the rock that Moses struck and remember that even though Moses missed out on living in the earthly Promised Land, He is now walking on streets of gold in the eternal Promised Land!
Have a wonderful Tuesday,