Deuteronomy 34 - No Respecter of Persons
1And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, 2And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 3And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. 4And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. 5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 7And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. 8And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. 9And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses. 10And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, 12And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.
Today's Scripture Meaning
Moses views the promised land from mount Nebo. (1-4) The death and burial of Moses, The mourning of the people. (5-8) Joshua succeeds Moses, The praise of Moses. (9-12) Verses 1-4: Moses seemed unwilling to leave his work; but that being finished, he manifested no unwillingness to die. God had declared that he should not enter Canaan. But the Lord also promised that Moses should have a view of it, and showed him all that good land. Such a sight believers now have, through grace, of the bliss and glory of their future state. Sometimes God reserves the brightest discoveries of his grace to his people to support their dying moments. Those may leave this world with cheerfulness, who die in the faith of Christ, and in the hope of heaven. Verses 5-8: Moses obeyed this command of God as willingly as any other, though it seemed harder. In this he resembled our Lord Jesus Christ. But he died in honour, in peace, and in the most easy manner; the Saviour died upon the disgraceful and torturing cross. Moses died very easily; he died "at the mouth of the Lord," according to the will of God. The servants of the Lord, when they have done all their other work, must die at last, and be willing to go home, whenever their Master sends for them, (Ac 21:13). The place of his burial was not known. If the soul be at rest with God, it is of little consequence where the body rests. There was no decay in the strength of his body, nor in the vigour and activity of his mind; his understanding was as clear, and his memory as strong as ever. This was the reward of his services, the effect of his extraordinary meekness. There was solemn mourning for him. Yet how great soever our losses have been, we must not give ourselves up to sorrow. If we hope to go to heaven rejoicing, why should we go to the grave mourning? Verses 9-12: Moses brought Israel to the borders of Canaan, and then died and left them. This signifies that the law made nothing perfect, (Heb 7:19) It brings men into a wilderness of conviction, but not into the Canaan of rest and settled peace. That honour was reserved for Joshua, our Lord Jesus, of whom Joshua was a type, (and the name is the same,) to do that for us which the law could not do, (Ro 8:3). Through him we enter into the spiritual rest of conscience, and eternal rest in heaven. Moses was greater than any other prophet of the Old Testament. But our Lord Jesus went beyond him, far more than the other prophets came short of him. And see a strong resemblance between the redeemer of the children of Israel and the Redeemer of mankind. Moses was sent by God, to deliver the Israelites form a cruel bondage; he led them out, and conquered their enemies. He became not only their deliverer, but their lawgiver; not only their lawgiver, but their judge; and, finally, leads them to the border of the land of promise. Our blessed Saviour came to rescue us out of the slavery of the devil, and to restore us to liberty and happiness. He came to confirm every moral precept of the first lawgiver; and to write them, not on tables of stone, but on fleshly tables of the heart. He came to be our Judge also, inasmuch as he hath appointed a day when he will judge all the secrets of men, and reward or punish accordingly. This greatness of Christ above Moses, is a reason why Christians should be obedient and faithful to the holy religion by which they profess to be Christ's followers. God, by his grace, make us all so!
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Deuteronomy with Chapter 34 and we see the end of the life of Moses who the Lord used to pen the first 5 books of the Bible commonly called the books of the Law. What catches my eye today is that God is no respecter of persons. Moses was chosen to pen these books, spoke to God face to face (Ex 33-11) was chosen to teach this new generation the law and walked with the old generation as they chose to reject God. Still with all he did he was not allowed to go into the promise land and was buried in Moab due to his sin. (Num 20:12) God called Moses his friend but still had to judge his sin due to His holiness. In making application I am reminded that even today that God judges sin even if we do great things in His name. it reminds me of a pastor that had led many to Christ and choose to enter into a sinful relationship. He lost his Church although he had done such a great work for the Lord. Reminding us again that God is no respecter of persons. Your sin will find you out. You will suffer the consequences of your sin even if you are saved or do a tremendous work of the Lord. How about you? Do you understand that even if you are saved and if you sin - God will judge your sin? Let us learn from today's text and the life of Moses and be reminded that God is no respecter of persons and God will judge our sins.
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Sincerely, Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.