Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 39
Day Thirty-Nine Good Friday, April 15
The Foretelling of the Death of Moses
Read: Deuteronomy 32:48-52
Moses’ Death Foretold
48 On that very day the Lord addressed Moses as follows: 49 “Ascend this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites for a possession; 50 you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin; 51 because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall not enter it—the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall never enter it… (Deuteronomy 32:52)
Reflection: As a task-oriented human being, this passage makes me sad. That’s okay, because today is Good Friday. It’s a suitable day to wrestle with sadness. Moses has worked so hard! And here, he is called out for his disobedience. He is told that he will not be able to enter the Promised Land. What a bummer! We have seen other great leaders of history experience this disappointment, and the story of Moses has become an archetypal example of the difficult life of a great leader. How does it make you feel that Moses is called out for breaking faith? Can you think of other examples in your life story of persons who have not made it all the way to their goal? How does this passage sit with your spirit on Good Friday? Does it encourage you that Jesus was obedient to the end? This is indeed a day of grief, but better days are ahead because of God’s great love.
Prayer: God of the Weary Wilderness, today we confront death. You share with Moses the truth of his own impending death, and on this day in our Christian year, Jesus, who has predicted his own death, now faces the cross. Help us to solemnly meditate upon these events. Give us time apart to consider our own faithfulness, and the words you wish to speak personally to us. Keep us near the cross today. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist