And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
Here was Israel finally on the edge of that land they had been journeying toward for so long. They’d taken the winding path. There had been great victories and great defeats, successes and failures, a lot of miles and a lot of lessons along the way. And for Moses, this was kind of the culminating moment. He saw the promised land. He gazed upon this place that God had prepared for His people, the reward they had been seeking with the rest of those glorious promises yet to unfold.
As he stood beholding that vast and fruitful land, what might Moses have been feeling? Was it regret that the sole of his foot would never touch down in that place? Was it gratefulness that the nation of Israel would finally enter in and receive that blessing? Was it fear that the people would abandon God and experience His judgment? Maybe it was all of those things and maybe, too, just a renewed sense of awe and wonder at this God he had come to know so personally—His greatness and goodness, His faithfulness, the amazement of knowing Him.
Moses may not have gotten to take that one last step, but his influence would be felt. His name would not be forgotten. He’d had an amazing journey, from his miraculous survival as a baby, his unique upbringing as a Hebrew in Pharaoh’s palace, his 40-year wait tending sheep, that call from God that it was time to go, crossing the Red Sea, and passing through that wilderness. Each step brought him closer to God until he comes to this moment where he will go to be with Him, despite missing out on that promised land.
And maybe the lesson for us in all of this is, yes, there are consequences for our sin and maybe we do miss out on some things, but in the end nothing on this earth is our final destination or our ultimate purpose. Though we journey and strive and move toward something grand and wonderful, maybe we come up short and maybe we don’t. We do our best, but we make mistakes. We come to know God better through the ups and downs of life. And no matter what happens here, when He is our Savior, we’re going home to be with Him. When our journey here is over, we’ll cross over a different river and set our feet on those streets of gold where forever we will be with our Lord.