Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Moses, called a prophet in Deuteronomy 34:1-12, saw God face to face, led the people of Israel toward receiving their promise, and, finally, died in the wilderness without personally receiving the promise. Yet the people of Israel didn’t consider him a failure. Not by any means. Personally receiving the promise of God in this life is a wonderful thing. It’s what we all hope for, it’s the stuff of dreams. Yet generation after generation of God’s people died without receiving all of God’s promise.
Here, the promise is that which had been given to Abraham some 500 years earlier. God would bless Abraham, give him offspring, a land of promise, and make him a mighty nation through whom the whole world would be blessed. For generation after generation, the people who believed the promise to Abraham died in faith, not receiving the promise. They had an offspring. They were, at least in some ways, a blessing to other nations, as they did a lot of the dirty work of the Egyptians. But they didn’t have the land and they had trouble seeing some of God’s blessings.
There’s a very important principle we learn in Scripture, illustrated in the life, work, and death of Moses. God’s promises are real promises. The fact that we die before inheriting them all the way does not invalidate them. God’s promise is true and good. It will come to pass. He won’t let a little thing like the death of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, or the many others leading up to Moses stand in the way. He won’t let the death of his anointed King David stand in the way of his promise to make of David a great and eternal kingdom. He won’t let anything stand in the way of his preservation of a remnant people who could trust his promises. The promises are good and true.
How has God promised to bless his people? They will have a land, an inheritance, and an eternal king on the throne of David. They will be rescued from all evil. This happens in Jesus, the Messiah. Granted, he dies, but he rises again from the dead. In his death and resurrection he shows that not only heaven and earth, but life and death belong to him. He himself is the promise of God. So what of Moses? Moses died in faith, trusting that he was also a partaker of God’s promise. He was perfectly all right, even after death, just as God’s promise is perfectly valid, even when it is beheld by those of us who are limited in our earthly life. The Lord makes an eternal promise which is just as real, just as valid, just as certain as it was when he first made it. Thanks be to God, the God of promise.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.