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MOSES' DEATH AND BURIAL.pdf

MOSES' DEATH AND BURIAL.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY J. R. MILLER



Read Deuteronomy XXXIV.

"Moses the servant of the Lord died." The death
of Moses was a sore disappointment to him. He
wanted to live longer. He thought his work was
not finished. There is a story of a man who had
wasted his years in sin. At last he came back to
God and was saved. He rejoiced in the hope of
eternal life. Yet he was unhappy. He longed to
live. When a friend asked him if he was afraid to
die, he replied : "Oh, no, I am not afraid to die. I
know that I am forgiven. But I am ashamed to
die. I have nothing but a wasted life to bring to
God." That was not the feeling of Moses. He had
filled his one hundred and twenty years with noble
service. But he longed to finish what he had be-
gun.
BY J. R. MILLER



Read Deuteronomy XXXIV.

"Moses the servant of the Lord died." The death
of Moses was a sore disappointment to him. He
wanted to live longer. He thought his work was
not finished. There is a story of a man who had
wasted his years in sin. At last he came back to
God and was saved. He rejoiced in the hope of
eternal life. Yet he was unhappy. He longed to
live. When a friend asked him if he was afraid to
die, he replied : "Oh, no, I am not afraid to die. I
know that I am forgiven. But I am ashamed to
die. I have nothing but a wasted life to bring to
God." That was not the feeling of Moses. He had
filled his one hundred and twenty years with noble
service. But he longed to finish what he had be-
gun.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 28, 2013
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MOSES' DEATH AND BURIALBY J. R. MILLER Read Deuteronomy XXXIV."Moses the servant of the Lord died." The deathof Moses was a sore disappointment to him. Hewanted to live longer. He thought his work wasnot finished. There is a story of a man who hadwasted his years in sin. At last he came back toGod and was saved. He rejoiced in the hope of eternal life. Yet he was unhappy. He longed tolive. When a friend asked him if he was afraid todie, he replied : "Oh, no, I am not afraid to die. Iknow that I am forgiven. But I am ashamed todie. I have nothing but a wasted life to bring toGod." That was not the feeling of Moses. He hadfilled his one hundred and twenty years with nobleservice. But he longed to finish what he had be-gun. He had brought his people out of Egypt. Hehad given them their laws. He had trained themfor national life. He had led them through the wil-derness. He desired to take them now into theland of promise.7374 MOSES' DEATH AND BURIALBut this was denied to him. He besought God tolet him go over to see the good land beyond theJordan. But the Lord would not relent, would notchange his purpose. "The Lord was wroth with mefor your sakes, and hearkened not unto me. . . . Letit suffice thee ; speak no more unto Me of this mat-
 
ter." So he had to go away and leave his work incomplete — that is, as it appeared to himself. Thepeople were ready at last to enter the land of prom-ise, and he who for forty years had been trainingand leading them could not go over with them,could not share in their final triumph, could notenter into the joy of conquest. No wonder Moseswas bitterly disappointed.But when we think of it, no one ever leaves hiswork finished in this world. No matter how diligentwe may be in duty, how careful we are to leave noth-ing unfinished, when we are called away our handswill still be full of things not finished. One sows,another reaps. One lays the foundation, anotherbuilds up the wall. Only one Man who ever livedcould say He had accomplished all that had beengiven Him to do. A business man went home oneevening, expecting to come back to his office in themorning to take up his work again. But he died thatnight. There was a letter on his table half written — ^indeed, it ended in the middle of a word. All aboutwere things he had begun. It will be so with allof us. We will leave engagements unmet for thenext day, plans that we have made which we cannotDEUTERONOMY XXXIV 76carry out, hopes that have filled our minds andhearts, which we have not realised.Moses was disappointed when he had to die. Butthere was more than disappointment — there wastragedy as well. It was sin that prevented himfrom taking his people over and finishing the greatwork of his life.We turn back and read the story. It was at Meri-
 
bah, in the Wilderness of Zin. There was no water,and the people became clamorous, grew angrywith Moses and blamed him, wishing they had diedback in the wanderings. The Lord bade Moses totake his rod and then speak to the rock that itmight give out its water for the people. Mosesobeyed, but he was angry and seems to have failedin the exactness of his obedience. He said to thepeople: Hear now, ye rebels; shall we bring youforth water out of this rock?" It was a pitifulsight. Moses was called the meekest man. His task in dealing with his people was a hard one. Theywere always complaining and murmuring. For allthe forty years Moses did not once lose his temperwith them nor say one impatient word. Now, how-ever, in an unguarded moment, he lost his self-control and spoke impatiently, unadvisedly. Heshowed his passion also in his words : "Ye rebels,must ice fetch you water out of the rock?" forget-ting to honour God. He had been commanded alsoto speak to the rock. Instead, he lifted his rod andsmote it — not once only, but twice, pounding it inhis wrath. The Lord's anger was kindled against76 MOSES' DEATH AND BURIALMoses. Instantly tke sentence was uttered : "Be-cause ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in theeyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall notbring this assembly into the land which I havegiven them."We may think this a small sin to be so severelypunished. We must remember, however, thatMoses stood for God, and it was his duty to bearwith the people as God Himself did. God wouldnot have lost patience and temper as Moses did,and Moses disappointed God. A Jewish Targum

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