Lessons From the Death of a Faithful Man
For those of you who have followed along with the Good Morning Girls – through the book of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and now Deuteronomy – today is a sad day.
It is the day that we say farewell to Moses – the author of the first 5 books of the Bible.
As I read Deuteronomy chapter 34 – tears welled up in my eyes. I’ve grown attached to this man. This meek man, who started out in a basket floating precariously down the Nile River.
God had a huge plan for this baby boy.
God protected Moses through his childhood. Then God raised Moses up to deliver his people from slavery. God showed himself through the 10 Plagues and when God miraculously parted the Red Sea – Moses was appointed, by God, to lead his people out of Egypt and into the desert. There Moses met God – face to face – and Moses received the 10 Commandments…twice!
Moses delivered all the laws to Israel, including how to organize the 12 tribes of Israel, the building of the tabernacle and the laws of the sacrificial system. Moses led God’s people in battle, including the memorable battle against the Amalekites, where when his hands were raised, Israel prevailed and when they dropped they began to be defeated. Moses’ meekness was not a weakness.
And Moses led God’s rebellious, stiff-necked, murmuring children through the desert. What a tough job assignment he had!
So many memorable moments, too numerous to recount here, happened under the leadership of Moses and after 40 years of wandering in the desert – we come to the end.
The end of Moses’ life.
In Numbers chapter 20, Moses was told by God to speak to the rock and it would pour out water for his people. Moses – in his anger at the murmuring mob – struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out…but this disobedience would bring a strict consequence for Moses.
Moses’ public disobedience to God caused him to be banned from entering the Promised Land.
And that brings us to the final chapter of Deuteronomy – Deuteronomy 34.
For the final time, the Lord leads Moses up a mountain – Mt. Nebo – and there the Lord allows Moses to see the Promised Land.
And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab.
And just like that – Moses stands alone – he views the Promised Land and then we say farewell to Moses. The Lord takes him home to be with him.
Moses had accomplished God’s purpose for his life.
When you come to your final day of life – will you have accomplished your purpose?
Don’t waste your life.
Even though Moses had finished the work God had for him – he still had a sad ending. Sin had prevented Moses from entering the Promised Land. God had assigned the task of leading Israel, to Joshua instead.
We may feel that Moses – losing his temper – is such a small sin – why did God deal with it so harshly?
But no sin is small to God.
Sin means missing the mark.
Sin means failure.
But God still used Moses mightily. There is hope for us.
God uses sinners!
If God didn’t use sinners – then he’d have NO ONE to use!
He uses all of us, if we surrender our lives to Him.
Another thing I see in the account of Moses’ dying, is that he was all alone.
God took Moses up the mountain without any of his friends and family to hold his hand as he died. So many times through out Moses’ life – he was all alone. It was just Moses and God.
And God was enough.
Dying is something we all have to do alone. No one can join us on that journey except God.
Verse 6 tells us “he buried him”.
God buried Moses…alone.
There was no big funeral. No eulogy. No pomp.
Verse 6 tells us “no one knows the place of his burial”.
Moses had an unmarked grave. There would be no flowers. No visits from family.
Moses died but God’s work went forward.
When we die – the work we have begun for Christ –goes forward.
7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers.
1 Corinthians 3:7-9
Together – we are all to be doing the work of the Lord and trusting God for the final harvest.
Moses died but He his faithfulness is not forgotten.
The final words of Deuteronomy say of Moses:
10 And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
A key lesson I have learned from the death of Moses is no matter our successes or failures – keep living a life of faithfulness to God.
May we be remembered as faithful.
Until you take your final breath…
Keep walking with the King!
What have you learned from Moses’ life and your study in the book of Deuteronomy?
For Further Reading
The GMG Leadership Team is Blogging Through the Bible Too! Visit their blogs here:
Becoming a Godly Wife – Bridget
Misty Leask – Misty
Rosilind Jukic – Rosilind
Worshipful Living – Mandy
What’s Next After Deuteronomy?
We will begin the Book of Ecclesiastes on June 13th! This study will be like NONE we have ever done here at Women Living Well. Find all of the details HERE. Invite your friends and join us!
Aaaahh, when I opened my Bible this morning, my first thought was “Oh no, this is when Moses dies…” I just loved verse 10: “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” What an amazing tribute to an amazing man of God!
Thank you again for leading us through the Bible, Courtney. May God continue to bless you and your ministry HUGELY! Much love.
I am so blessed to be a part of Women Living Well. This is my first email from you all. I am so excited to be learning and growing with women who are hungry and thirsty for God’s word like myself. ?
Courtney, this blog post made me cry! You write so beautifully. I wanted to say a little bit from my bible notes because it’s too sweet not to share, “Jewish tradition says that God took away the soul of Moses with a kiss. No one knows the manner in which he died, just that the Lord himself buried Moses.” It was a private event exclusive to only God himself and meek Moses. What a relationship these two must have had, for God to revere Moses so sweetly. I’m sure that time was spent in sweet communion before the Lord took him home. I used to be sad and sometimes angry that Moses wasn’t allowed to see the Promised Land. But I finally see that it wasn’t because God was unfair. I see it now that God was taking care of Moses like we do with our children and Moses had accomplished what he was born to accomplish. And that even when I am alone, God is still enough.
I have just discovered this site and am in need of spiritual nurturing … I feel lost.
Your message was so sincere about Moses and the kiss from God. There have been times I wish for that kiss for I feel I have no usefulness…just know that your words brought tears and thoughts that may be the Lord is not ready for me…
Dear Rosie, I couldn’t pass your comment without reaching out to you. I was never brought up with God’s word and some would have called me an atheist. But after a few events after the other, over the last few years I was losing control over my emotions and myself in every aspect of my life. One morning in so much emotional pain I reached out to a friend who follows God’s words like no one I’ve ever met. She told me God would take me in if I just reached out to him. I fell to the floor and cried out to God. Shortly after that I came across Courtney’s blog and I left her a comment, she replied ?. Fast forward 8 months I’m now on my second bible study, I attend a beautiful church with very caring people and I’m all round a better mum, wife and friend. Not only that but my daughter has taken to Christ like a duck to water and my husband can’t believe the change in me. I still have my off days but I truly believe God has forgiven me for my past and I’m reborn in him. Please trust that God loves you, you just have to reach out to him. I truly hope this comment reaches you Rosie. I’ll say a prayer for you.
Just came across your message and am assuming it was to me?Perhaps not but I’m claiming it anyway!
Thank you for your kind words and thoughtfulness, I appreciate it. Was helpful and I do realize – Jesus loves me and I need to go to Him in prayer All the time ???✝ thank you again Roxy
So happy you found my comment ?
I love what you shared. It helped me to see Moses death in a whole different light. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
What a bunch of crybabies we are! ? Like others, I used to be kind of frustrated that God didn’t let Moses in. But now I see it so differently. How weary he must have been! He must have had a similar attitude to my Grandma in the last years of her life when she said, “I just want to be with Jesus.”
I’ve enjoyed studying Deuteronomy!! I also wondered why God didn’t allow Moses to go into the Promise Land over something so small as hitting a rock. Especially after all of Moses work for God and putting up with the Israelites. But Courtney you are right there is no small sin to God. In my own humanness I put categories of sin when sin is just sin. But God in his graciousness at least let Moses see the Promise Land. May I continue to remember Gods faithfulness to his servants of old in this sometimes crazy world today. And that if I will be faithful I will see Gods blessings in this life or in the life to come.
Excellent! Well written. Thanks for leading us through Deuteronomy.
Moses — walking with God, talking with God, serving God, serving others — WOW! He was God’s man for God’s season. I’m inspired and encouraged in God’s truth! It’s been a wonderful journey with this great man! In Ecclesiastes we’ll learn more about seasons……… I’m looking forward to another GREAT study. THANKS to ALL!!!
Can’t remember how the Lord ked me to your bible study but as I sat this morning reading your God given words on the death of Moses and how God uses sinners today tears of joy came streaming down my face as I raised up my voice to the Lord asking Him to fulfill His purpose in my life. I can’t thank the Lord enough for you! Thank you for following the Lord’s calling on your life in this so precious ministry!
God richly bless you!
Hi I just found your blog and am getting ready to participate in the bible study on Ecclesiastes. I have only begun to study the bible in the last few years, and have not really done a bible study before. The ones at my church are always during hours that I have to work. I am so sorry I missed your study of Moses, he is such an interesting man, “more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth” (Numbers 12:3). I am wondering if when I have the time is there a way for me to do this study on my own? Also will I need any other supplies besides the study guide (which I have already ordered from Amazon)to do the Ecclesiastes bible study? Thank you and God Bless
Shameless of me that I am reading this last blog on Deuteronomy now, but anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading through it Courtney. All the things you wrote about Moses, I thought about last week as we wrapped up Deuteronomy. And yes, it was an emotional farewell for Moses. I literally sobbed.
v5 spoke to me a great deal “so Moses the SERVANT of the LORD died there in the land of Moab.”
When I come to die, may I be spoken of as a SERVANT of the LORD. That will be enough.
Grace and Peace
I am so glad and blessed of coming across with this page. Keep on doing the good work serving good people of God. I have a good feeling after reading this blog, may God bless u.
I look forward your studies..Moses was used of God and as one lady said God took his soul with a kiss..laid him to rest in an unknown place in the valley of Moab. What a relationship they had..thanks for sharing
I wanted to share this link to a message on the sin of Moses because it really digs into the Word. Among the nuggets to glean (that are taught in detail and backed by scripture in this message) are that while Moses’ sin seemed so small for such a severe punishment, Luke 12:48 says, “To whom much is given, much is required”. Because of the walk Moses had with God (Moses spoke face to face with God as a man speaks to a friend) and because of his leadership role, much was required. And what a warning this is so us, especially pastors and teachers of God’s Word! Moses’ sin was that he misrepresented God to the people. For a man who walked so closely with Him, God expected him to not misrepresent Him. It shows us, that as leaders, how important it is to represent God correctly! God was wanting to show His people His compassion and even more importantly, He was painting a portrait of Jesus (as portraits foreshadowing what was/is to come are found all throughout the Old Testament). The rock Moses was to strike was to be a picture of Jesus; the New Testament tells us this. When the rock was struck, it yielded an abundance of living water for people dying of thirst in the wilderness. Jesus is our rock who brought forth living water, but first had to be struck. Moses messed up God’s picture and by his disobedience, he missed out on the blessings of God. Which is another point, that disobedience brings missed blessings. Finally, we get to see, in the New Testament, that Moses DOES get to step into the promised land and what encouragement that God would allow him to do this. God would not allow Him the blessings of leading the people into the promised land as punishment, but oh the mercy that God chooses MOSES to appear in that promised land, years later, with Elijah, talking with Jesus (Mathew 17:3). If you are interested in studying further, I highly recommend the sermon in the link. Hugs!