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Deuteronomy 34:1-12, Moses Dies

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
— Exodus 34:4

NL Daily Devotion for Monday, October 8, 2018

 coffin with flowers jpg

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


The View From Mount Nebo

Moses was granted one last view of the Promised Land, a land which he might see, but never enter.

I’ve always felt a little sad for Moses. I mean . . . there he was, the one to have suffered through all the struggles and complaints of his people for over 40 long years wandering in the wilderness, and then he was not allowed to cross over.

But isn’t this just the way life is?

After all, many of our own successes and accomplishments have been built upon the foundation of our foremothers’ and fathers’ shoulders. And I’m speaking of more than just technological accomplishments—most, if not all, of how we relate to each other and the world has been given to us.

My sons, if they remain healthy, will likely outlive me to see things only I can dream of. Of course, they’ll have challenges unlike any my grandparents ever would have dreamt of, either.

And all of us, spiritually, are living in the time of “now but not yet.” The best we can hope for is a good view like that of Moses was granted.

It’s better to enjoy that view and hope for the best which is to come than it is to complain about it (or wish that it would be for us).


Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:

Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended.

Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lordknew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lordsent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

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