With today’s Bible reading* we complete our readings through Deuteronomy. “Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his eyes were not weak, and his vitality had not left him.” (Deuteronomy 34:7 CSB) Oh, that we would all finish well!
But one thing is very troublesome in our reading.
And the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’
Deuteronomy 31:16–17 (ESV)
Moses has diligently led the people for the past forty years. He has faithfully spoken and written God’s covenant expectations of His people. He has delivered God’s promised blessings if His people will only remain true to their covenant obligations. He has warned the people to not turn from their relationship with God. Moses is finishing well.
And yet, as God commissions Joshua to lead the people into the Promised Land, God tells Moses that despite his faithfulness, the people will quickly desert their covenant commitments. Can you imagine Moses coming to the end of his life and feeling a deep sense of accomplishment … and then hearing these words from God. I’m sure Moses felt defeated. I’m sure he felt that he had wasted the last forty years.
How sad. How incredibly sad.
However, Moses had to realize that the people were indeed hard-hearted and stiff-necked. They would give an account for what they did with what they knew.
And so will we.
Regardless of how faithful your spiritual leaders may have been (haven’t been), you, too will face the music. You, too will face your own judgment. No one can prevent that. And no one can do anything else for you once you are gathered to your Maker.
Listen well. And finish well. Be like Moses.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: