Moses is dead.
It was hard for me to move on without him. I know… that might just sound strange, but remember, when you love someone it’s hard to move on.
But before he died, he told the entire story… again. and i thought, now this would have been a good way to tell it the first time 🙂 but although it was more to the point, you did lose some of the impact of the telling the first time around. Deuteronomy. what does that mean anyway? big, long re-cap? i’m mostly kidding. Here’s what stood out to me.
Why not mix linen and wool? Does it have something to do with linen being used in holy vestments?
Losing their humanity – becoming cannibals and eating their babies. This is the result of turning away from Him and worshipping other non-gods. This was rough – It was rough the first time around when God spouted Leviticus 26. I cried bitterly driving down the road listening to that chapter on audio book. It made me want to run away the first time, not in any way inclining me to want to try harder to obey, not a fire-breathing God like that – but when he addressed it again in Deuteronomy, i wondered Is this what other cultures were doing? I know they burned their babies in fire sacrificing to demons, but is this just describing the state of people without God? The depravity that takes away your humanity when you fall into such unspeakable cruelty and no, it’s not humanity anymore – you become something else entirely at that point. And if this was what the other cultures were doing… if this is why God wanted them wiped off the planet and was so stickler about the Israelites not taking up with them, worshipping their gods, learning their ways… well it makes sense doesn’t it? It doesn’t make God (their God) look like such a control freak, if anyone was inclined to say such a thing.
You’ll worship all kinds of other gods, gods neither you nor your parents ever heard of, wood
and stone no-gods. But you won’t find a home there, you’ll not be able to settle down.
God will give you a restless heart, longing eyes,
a homesick soul.
Divine discontent. A home-sick soul. I wonder if this isn’t what’s wrong with us today. All us who keep looking to fulfill our souls in some other way than Him. And we do. And we feel the Diving Discontent (thanks for the term Rachael) and we are home-sick in our soul, unable to shake it or be filled, always longing and searching for… something. And people look inside and believe their great inner Self is the thing they have long since forgotten to acknowledge as the answer, but that too falls silent and inadequate as we realize that we are, in fact, not the center of the universe, but just a created spot of dust in it. Loved, dust, but dust none-the-less. Again, throwing back to the God big, us little reality.
Moses – I can see him sitting before all the people teaching and teaching and teaching – pleading with them to remember in those last days of life that he had to journey with them. Trying to bolster them so they wouldn’t feel overwhelmed and get lost…. again.
This commandment that I’m commanding you today isn’t too much for you,
it’s not out of your reach. It’s not on a high mountain—you don’t have to get mountaineers
to climb the peak and bring it down to your level and explain it before you can live it.
And it’s not across the ocean—
you don’t have to send sailors out to get it, bring it back, and then explain it before you can live it. No.
The word is right here and now—as near as the tongue in your mouth, as near as the heart in your chest.
Just do it!
15 Look at what I’ve done for you today: I’ve placed in front of you
Life and Good
Death and Evil.
I love this so much. This is such a beautiful exhortation… I want to plaster this to my chest so everyone I encounter can know this – Sadly, immediately following all his teaching and reminding, God told Moses that no sooner than he dies they were going to get into trouble and turn away. And I think of the Jesus’ disciples. Poor Peter… but that’s not yet. We’ll get to that in a few weeks.
19-20 I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to him, firmly embracing him. Oh yes, he is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
and after a few more instructions about crossing over the Jordan and what to expect there, He commissioned Joshua in the presence of God, in the cloud. He sang over the people a song of rememberance, he blessed the people according to tribes, and then Moses climbed the mountain with strength and a spring in his step, and there he died.
5-6 Moses died there in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of God, just as God said.
God buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth Peor.
No one knows his burial site to this very day.
I can see God tenderly lifting Moses’ lifeless body, Moses in spirit standing with God – the soft mourning from the heart of the Father over the loss of the only prophet he had ever met with face to face. Things were different now between God and his people and it would be a long long time before He would commune with man in the same fashion. He loved Moses. He was so proud of what he had accomplished, how faithful he had been, even though He held Moses accountable for breaking faith in the wilderness of Zin – striking the rock instead of speaking the command – God had wanted to do something – to show the people something wonderful and meaningful about who He was, and because Moses broke that trust, God didn’t let him take the people across the Jordan. Moses was heart-broken and asked God to reconsider. It may have been the only request that God ever refused him.
But I am consumed by the tender love the Father holds for Moses, his friend. Not Abraham, Isaac or Jacob held this place in Gods heart. God saved him from the reeds and brought him 120 years later to the top of a mountain, kissed him and put his body in the ground with His own hands. What a type and shadow of Jesus. What an overwhelming love.
I wonder if Moses felt torn between serving God in the tabernacle and his children. He mentions it in the blessing of the Levites. I wonder.
I wonder what the bosom of Abraham was like – and what it was like for Moses to meet up with his fathers and share their stories.
And this is how we leave Moses and journey on with Israel…
10-12 No prophet has risen since in Israel like Moses, whom God knew face-to-face.
Never since has there been anything like the signs and miracle-wonders that God sent him to do in Egypt, to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to all his land—nothing to compare with that all-powerful hand of his
and all the great and terrible things Moses did as every eye in Israel watched.
Goodbye Moses. Until we meet again.