Daily D – Deuteronomy 32:48-50
That same day the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Moab, to the mountains east of the river, and climb Mount Nebo, which is across from Jericho. Look out across the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the people of Israel as their own special possession. Then you will die there on the mountain. DEUTERONOMY 32:48-50 (NLT)
We were alerted several months ago to a documentary we might enjoy watching. National Geographic filmed the exploits of Alex Honnold as he prepared to climb El Capitan in Yosemite without a rope. My bride gets tingly when we watch things involving the possibility of falling from a great height. She was not excited to watch this documentary, but we did.
Part of the story touched on other climbers like Honnold. As you might expect, several of them died climbing. Metaphor Alert: Moses died climbing.
Moses did not die as a result of falling off a cliff on the way to the summit of a mountain. However, the last thing he did as a 120-year-old man was to climb a mountain and enjoy the view.
What is it with Moses and mountains? Many of the most interesting stories of his life occur in the mountains. This includes, of course, the last time we see him mentioned in the Bible. He and Elijah meet with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, which is probably Mount Hermon. Moses finally made it across the river.
What did Moses see from Mount Nebo?
He saw what was. He saw the people he had led for forty years gathered and prepared to move into the land their ancestors had been promised.
He saw what could be. He saw a land full of opportunity (Deut. 8:6-10).
He saw past the limits of maps and time. He caught his first glimpse of eternity.
Ferris Bueller famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” He also said after the credits roll over the final scene of the movie, “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home. Go!”
Moses discovered that the end of the story is not The End.
He got his last good look. Then he entered the land that is fairer than day.
There’s a land that is fairer than day,
and by faith we can see it afar;
for the Father waits over the way
to prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the Sweet By and By, Sanford Fillmore Bennett
The sun is rising on another Lord’s Day, a day reminding us that we meet for worship on Sunday, the first day of the week because that is when Jesus rose from the dead. We meet in our homes again this Sunday due to the pandemic. Look beyond Mount Nemo. Look up to Mount Hermon. Look out from the Mount of Olives. See all that lies beyond. Then forget your age and start climbing.
The best view yet lies ahead a little farther, a little higher.
I will die climbing.
Our Father, we come to the end of Moses’ story on the mountaintop, but his legacy lives on. He died climbing. He was ready for the next adventure. Wherever you led is where he went. Empower us to follow his example and to follow your steps wherever they may lead. May we know the joys, the delights, the beauty, of walking with you all the way home as you guide us along the right paths, through the darkest valleys, always consciously aware of your protection, provision, and comfort. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.