Have you ever wondered about the end of your life? How? Where? When? Or would you rather not think about it? Death is a reality of life. Christians need not fear death because we know what happens after we die. I am not afraid of death, I just hope that it would not be too painful to bear. I wonder how my final days will be.
There once was a Biblical hero who knew how, where, when he would die, doing all that God told him to do before he died.
Deuteronomy 30-34 recorded all that Moses did in his final days. It was like his last will and testament.
1) Moses’ will: He charged the people to remember God’s word – obey and be blessed, rebel and be cursed. (ch. 30)
2) Moses’ legacy: He passed on the baton. He told the people that Joshua would take his place and lead them into the promise land. He encouraged Joshua. (31:1-8)
3) Moses’ testament: He wrote down the law as God instructed. He read the written law to the Israelites to warn them to carefully obey God. (31:9-18)
4) Moses’ song: (31:19-22) God’s words for the song were vv.20-21 expanded into chapter 32 as Moses’ song. The song is their life (32:47). The song is written so they will know who God is, what He did for them, and remember to obey Him.
5) Moses’ benediction: he blessed each of the tribes of Israel. (ch. 33)
Moses’ last conversation with God: (32:48-52)
On that same day the Lord told Moses, “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
No regrets… no further plea to enter the promise land. He already did that in Deut. 3:23-28.
Moses’ final moments: (ch. 34)
1) His last journey: He climbed Mount Nebo. v.1
2) His last vision: He saw the whole promise land. v.2-3
3) His last call: He heard God’s final words. v.4
4) His death: He died in Moab. v.5
5) His burial: God buried him. v. 6
6) His physical condition: at 120, he could see clearly, he was strong. He climbed Mount Nebo to see the whole land God promised to give His people. v. 7
7) His wake: The Israelites mourned 30 days for him. v. 8
8) His successor: Joshua was filled with spirit of wisdom because Moses laid his hands on him. The people listened to Joshua and obeyed what God commanded Moses. v. 9
Moses’ epitaph: vv. 10-12
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
What a life!
I do not know when my last days will be. When that day comes, what will be said of my life? Will there be a song? Will there be a blessing? Will there be a legacy? Will there be sadness? Will there be a celebration? Will there be a memory of God’s goodness and faithfulness?
I am not Moses nor I need to be. I might not be able to do such great signs and wonders as Moses or show such mighty power or perform awesome deeds as he did. But at the end of the journey, will I be able to pass on with certainty that I knew the Lord face to face? Or rather, will it be said that I am one whom the Lord knew face to face?