Week 13: Day 4- Deuteronomy 34:5-6

So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. 

(Deu 34:5-6)

Explanation:

There are three phrases that strike me in these two verses.
First, I’m struck by the phrase “the servant of the Lord”.  If you were to know Moses’ life, you could have called him several things.  He could have been known as Moses, the Leader of the People, or Moses, the former prince of Egypt, or Moses, the prophet of God.  He could have been titled many things, but at the end of His life, the Holy Spirit chose to call him “the servant of the Lord”.  It’s really not a bad title. 

Second, I’m struck by the phrase “according to the word of the Lord”.  This is just saying that what God said about Moses’ death- its’ timing and location- happened.  God is in control, and what He says will happen will certainly come to pass.  Remember what the scripture says.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

(Heb 9:27)

Lastly, I’m struck by the phrase “no man knoweth of his suplchre unto this day”.  All we can say for certain about this phrase is that we don’t know specifically where Moses’ is buried.  We don’t know it now, because at the time of that writing no one knew then as well.  Why didn’t God allow the people to know where Moses was buried?  Several options could be submitted, but I believe that at least part of it had to do with the human bent toward idolatry.  Human beings tend to worship, and often worship that which is not God.  This is called idolatry.  Knowing the place where Moses was buried would tempt the children of Israel from moving beyond veneration to worship.  Moses was the servant of the Lord, and would not want himself to be worshiped.

Application:

Three obvious applications to my thoughts.

  1. At our best we are “the servants of the Lord.  If we order our lives to following and serving Him that is what is best for us.
  1. What God has promised He will do.  Knowing that this world is temporal, and that we are eternal we must be wise. 

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (Eph 5:15-16)                

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.  (Psa 90:12)

        3. We should be careful not to make idols of our leaders.  When we have great leaders that impact us, we must remember that at best they are servants of the Lord.  What impacts us about them is God working in them and then through them.  We ought to worship the Lord because of their leadership and not them.

Response:

  1. In your walk this week could you rightly be called a servant of the Lord?
  2. Are you numbering your days- thinking about how you are using the time that you have for Gospel impact?
  3. What is your heart worshipping right now?  Any answer other than God is out of bounds!

Week 13: Day 2- Deuteronomy 32:50-52

And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.

(Deu 32:50-52)

Explanation:

As we studied yesterday, Moses was commanded to go into the mountain to die because God had forbid him to come into the promised land. Why? Because of what happened at Meribah.

And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

(Num 20:10-13)

It may seem to some a strict punishment that God was laying on Moses and Aaron.  God is just in His judgement, and sees not only our behavior but also our hearts.  God is right to hold his people accountable, and the Bible is clear about God’s expectation of leaders.

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

(Jas 3:1-2)

Application:

Leaders are influencers.  They influence with their words, attitudes, actions and resources.  As the leader goes, so tend to go those who the leader leads.  With this stewardship comes a greater accountability.

Response:

  • How are you leading with your words, attitudes, actions and resources? 
  • If you were being perfectly imitated by those you influence, would your family/organization/church/business be better or worse? 
  • Take some time to evaluate your influence today! 

Week 3: Day 5- Numbers 20:12-13

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

Numbers 20:12-13

Explanation:

God told Moses and Aaron why he was holding them accountable by not letting them lead the people into the promised land.

  1. They did not trust God.
  2. They did not uphold His holiness in front of the people.

God was not being petty about striking the rock versus speaking to the rock. He expected to be obeyed, trusted, worshipped as holy, and magnified for His provision before the people. Moses, in his anger, failed to do this. He was disobedient. Yet God was gracious to provide the water. Even still, there were consequences.

Application:

The Explore the Bible curriculum says in application to the truth of this passage: “God holds us accountable for our actions. Regardless if we are provoked, emotionally drained, or physically exhausted, no excuse exists for a lack of faithfulness among leaders and followers alike. We are to represent our Lord well in this world.”

Response:

  1. Would you be comfortable with being imitated by those you influence this past week?
  2. Is there an area of your life that you need to be obedient in where disobedience is the pattern?
  3. Take a few moments to search your heart, and confess disobedience and unfaithfulness to the Lord.

Week 3: Day 4- Numbers 20:9-11

9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

Numbers 20:9-11

Explanation

Here we see Moses’ outburst with the people. Several problems can be seen here.

  1. He struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it as God commanded.
  2. He took credit for the miracle.
  3. He let his anger get out of control.
  4. He was as bad as the people were in the attitude they displayed.

Ironically, he was upset at them for having a wrong attitude, and he displayed his displeasure with their attitude with a bad attitude. He was upset with disobedience, and he in responding he was disobedient.

It was natural for Moses to be frustrated with the sinful, disobedient, ungrateful attitude of the people he lead. The problem was that he displayed some of those same qualities but with pride as well. He began to think that he was the solution instead of God. Therefore, he began to take the credit. He assumed his anger was righteous even though it lead to disobedience.

Application

In trying to solve problems as a leader, we must not begin to think that we are the ultimate solutions to all of the problems. In trying to push God’s agenda where we lead we must become self righteous or arrogant. We must not arrogantly be angered. We must be lead missionally, scripturally, and humbly, while at the same time being bold and optimistic.

And most simply stated, we must obey God.

Response

  1. Have you ever responded to wrongdoing in kind? Unholy anger with unholy anger? Complaining with complaining? Laziness with laziness?
  2. Find a way today to lead those around you to do something scriptural.
  3. Is there an area where you are being disobedient? Stop! Repent! Do right!