How do you think Moses felt when he realized that he would not get to enter the Promised Land?
What heartbreaking and crushing moment!
He has poured out over forty years of tough, uphill leadership of the people of Israel, and God is now telling him that the goal will be forever out of his reach. He will die without entering the Promised Land.
It seems even more cruel that he will actually see it, but not enter it.
In our lesson from Deuteronomy today, Moses is led up to the top of a mountain, “and the Lord showed him the whole land…The Lord said to him, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, “I will give it to your descendants”; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.’ Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command.”
At first it seems like a pretty poor reward for such long and dedicated service.
But like so many things in the Bible, we realize that it is meticulously faithful to the way things happen in real life.
Many times we have a dearly held and longed-for goal for ourselves, our family, or our community, and despite the years of work we put into it, we never see it accomplished.
That’s in fact almost guaranteed for the biggest and most important goals of transformation.
Consider Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final speech—he said it explicitly, that he had seen the Promised Land, but he did not know if he would enter it.
But he did not speak those words with despair.
His voice rang with hope and even joy.
This is the difference between people who have been transformed by God’s work in their lives and those who haven’t. Continue reading