Daily Worship

A good ending?

October 29, 2017 2
Image credit: James Cathcart

Deuteronomy 34: 1-12

1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. 4 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.’ 5 Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. 6 He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigour had not abated. 8 The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.

9 Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses.

10 Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lordknew face to face. 11 He was unequalled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, 12 and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Moses led his people for 40 years, despite the hardship, despite the grumbling of his people, sure in the promise that God would lead them to the Promised Land.  And here we come to the final chapter and God takes him to the top of Pisgah (v 4-6), shows him the promised land, and tells him that he will not get there.

Moses was a faithful leader to his people and a loyal servant to his God and here at the end of his life he is denied reaching the promised land - and just as he had throughout his life, - he submits to God; he lets go of his own hopes and dreams. It’s a short paragraph but with so much unexpressed feeling - was he delighted, disappointed, devastated? 

Moses’ story from beginning to end is one of letting go – he had to let go his security to embark on the journey in trust, he had to let go and forgive his people as they journeyed, and now this last letting go – of his dream and of life itself.


Thank you Lord, for inviting me on the journey

even though I may never reach the goal.

Sometimes I know I’ve lagged behind

and sometimes I’ve got ahead of myself.

I see in You all the things I’ve wanted to be

and I believe you have seen something in me.


Thank you for those on the journey 

who helped me meet you, and see you more clearly.

They were your saints, and now they are mine.

Sometimes I’ve got distracted, sometimes disappointed 

but You never left my side.

By Your grace, you kept me in your sights

and I never lost sight of you.