A friend of mine recently pointed out an often overlooked fact concerning the death of Moses. Honestly, I had forgotten about this truly significant event of Moses’ last days until I went to Deuteronomy 34 to confirm it.
But first, it is within this chapter we are reminded of the close relationship Moses shared with his Maker. The Lord loved and trusted Moses so much that He appointed him to lead the chosen people of Israel out of slavery and toward their God-ordained destiny. Moses met with God, spoke to God and even questioned God during times of frustration.
Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us that “no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”
During Moses’ last days, the Lord was with Moses on the top of Mount Nebo to show him the land He had promised to His chosen people.
But remember, Moses himself did not enter into the land. He actually died in the land of Moab, just short of the Promised Land.
At first glance, it seems a bit cold that God would allow Moses to die without ever making it to the place he had dreamed about entering.
But, here is the part which might help put all of this in perspective. After describing the death of Moses, we are told in Deuteronomy 34:6 that, “He [God] buried him [Moses].”
Just ponder that concept for a few minutes.
God buried Moses.
As my friend so eloquently stated when relaying this story to me, “Isn’t that just so sweet. God buried Moses.”
Through these events, we can see that Moses obviously had fulfilled the plan God ordained for his life. Moses had served his purpose in advancing the Kingdom by being the earthly vessel used to bring the nation of Israel into reality.
Now God’s plan for Moses was done. Moses had faithfully served the purpose God needed him for.
I am sure the Israelites might have been a little more than surprised that their fearless earthly leader over the past 40 years was not going to complete the journey with them. No doubt they were concerned about this turn of events. Remember the nation of Israel had a bad habit of not trusting in God’s faithfulness and sovereignty.
But God is sovereign and faithful and gracious and He really does have a perfect plan for our lives. He even has a way of redeeming His plan when we take it off track and mess it up.
God knew in order for the destiny of His chosen people to move forward as He ordained it, something had to be left behind…something had to be buried.
I believe God understood how deeply the people felt about Moses. I also believe they knew God felt their pain in losing the person of Moses, and his leadership which they had grown accustomed too.
Perhaps that is one of the reasons God chose to bury Moses Himself. I believe God wanted to show His grieving people how engaged in their lives He was. It was an act of humility and love from God that showed not only respect for Moses, but also His willingness to get His hands dirty while involved in the lives of His beloved children.
In the midst of the grief over Moses’ death, I get a sense of a very special moment occurring – the bond being strengthened- between the emerging Israelite nation and their God.
I believe this event in their relationship…the act of God burying Moses…revealed a character trait of God that is often overlooked.
Our God proved not only to a young Israelite nation but to all believers’ what a sweet and tenderhearted God He is.
God’s final action toward Moses is so symbolic of the role He wants to play in our lives.
Our sweet and tenderhearted God stands ready to help us bury whatever is in our life that is stalling our progress toward our own personal promised land.
As we move along our spiritual paths there are things… sometimes seasons… that make us feel insignificant or stagnate. The journey might be good enough, but there becomes a sameness to it that leaves us uninspired or even apathetic.
I have learned over the course of my journey that those feelings usually indicate the something needs to be released…buried…in order of our steps to be renewed and redirected.
Without the ‘burial’, then our wilderness march is destined to continue.
Is there something you know really needs to die in your life, yet you are not sure you could move on without it?
Take heart in the fact that we serve a sweet and tenderhearted God who desperately desires to not only support us, but also work alongside of us to bury what needs to be laid to rest.
God wants us all to enter into the unique destiny – our own personal promised land – He has ordained for all of us.
Trust Him enough to ask for His help and direction believing He will move toward you with shovel in hand.