Deuteronomy 34: The Death of Moses

This entry is part 118 of 143 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Even though Moses was the great prophet of the Old Testament, he had dishonored and disobeyed God in the incident at the waters of Meribah (see Numbers 20:8–13). As a consequence of his actions, God did not allow him to enter the Promised Land at the end of his life.

Moses’s disobedience may seem like a small thing to us, and God’s reaction drastic, but we need to recognize that God had given Moses a command. And Moses, the shepherd of the Israelites, did not obey. As Luke 12:48 teaches, to whom much is given, much will be required.

The more you know about the Word, the more you will be held accountable. Moses was a leader, and God held him accountable for his actions.

But Moses’s disobedience did not ultimately define him. We see God’s mercy in that He gave Moses a supernatural vision of the Promised Land even though he could not enter it. Not only that, but Moses did eventually enter the Promised Land in a different way—he appeared on the top of a high mountain in the land of Israel during Jesus’ transfiguration (Luke 9:28–36).

The Spirit of Wisdom

Even after Moses’s death, God’s mercy to the Israelites continued. He did not leave them without a leader, but endued Joshua with the “spirit of wisdom.”

This commissioning with the Spirit is important. Just as God gave Joshua a unique purpose, He has also given each of us a unique purpose. But we need to be willing to walk in the power of the Spirit and abide in Him. We must die daily to ourselves and to our own idea of our plans, submitting instead to God. This is a continual surrendering—we constantly need to take ourselves off of the throne of our lives and enthrone Christ instead.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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Want a recap of the book of Deuteronomy? Check out Ken’s Talk Thru Deuteronomy presentation.

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