We have reached the end of Moses’ life. He goes up on one last mountain with God to look over the land that He had promised the people.
Moses was a special prophet. There had never been a prophet like him before and never again would there be. God knew him face to face, the number and kinds of miracles done by God, and the magnitude of the mission God sent him to do. He wasn’t the only one of God’s prophets that were special to Him but they had a unique relationship.
At 120 years old Moses was as spry as any of the men in the camp. “His eye undimmed, and his vigor unabated” (verse 7b). God gave him that special gift. The people needed him to be a strong leader. His mind was also as sharp as ever. We see this in the fact that he continued to teach the people right up until the day he walked out of the camp and up the mountain side.
The people were used to Moses going off on his own to be with God. I’m curious to know if they knew that this would be his last walk. I’m pretty certain that He told Joshua what was going to happen but did he share it with the people before he left? Did the people cry for him to remain? Did he ally their concerns by telling them that they wouldn’t be able to go into the Promised Land until after he went to be with God?
Moses’ last trip up the mountain resulted in another face time with God. He didn’t go up to die alone. He went to spend time in the Father’s company and to finally lay the heavy burden down that he had been carrying for so long. I cannot imagine a better way to die! The Father sitting by your side, showing you the good things He has in store for those you both love, quietly laying your head on His shoulder and falling asleep.
God Himself buried His faithful servant. God didn’t even let Moses body cross into the Promised Land. I don’t know if God brought his body down from the mountain side to bury him in a valley or if this was just a general statement of where God laid him to rest. God didn’t identify Moses’ burial site for the people. He didn’t want them setting up some kind of shrine to him. He wanted them to focus on the tasks ahead instead of focusing on the past.
I believe that God told Joshua that Moses was gone. I don’t think he had to go up the mountain and check for himself. Moses had laid hands on Joshua to pass “the spirit of wisdom” to him as God had commanded. I believe God’s Spirit let Joshua know the minute Moses passed from this life to the next.
The people mourned for Moses for 30 days. I believe their mourning was also tinged with excitement. They knew that his passing meant the beginning of their promise. I have no doubt that they missed him but they knew without a doubt that he was with God. They also knew that God was still with them in the form of Joshua’s leadership. They were ready for what lay ahead. Out of respect they maintained their days of mourning for him.
I wish every death could be as Moses’ was. Moses had nothing left undone. He had hoped for more but was content with God’s answer that his journey was over. He had no illness or decrease in strength because God had sustained him until He was ready to bring him home. Most importantly, he was with God up and until the moment his spirit departed his body.
Death is not always greeted so peacefully. The life that was lived beforehand has a LOT to do with the attitude in passing. Those who know God KNOW their future. This brings comfort in the process for both the one going home and the ones left behind. Even when a child of the Father dies from illness there can be peace. The scariest death is when someone who rejected God’s love continues to reject Him up until their final breath. There is no hope beyond this point.
In my mind, the hardest death is that of a child; especially one who is taken by a tragic accident. It can leave the family questioning God’s goodness and purpose. It also sends them in search of someone to blame. Satan and this fallen world are to blame. Lay it at his feet.
Father God, thank You for watching over my children and grandchildren. I PRAY fervently that I never experience a death of one of them. I also pray for those in my family who have experienced this kind of loss. I have seen the kind of damage that can come in its wake. I have also seen Your healing that can result. That pain never goes away. Hold them securely in Your arms and remind those in pain that You are ever present to help them carry that pain. You can carry ALL our pain if we give it all to You.
Father God, I want to ask You how long I will have my husband with me. His health has been up and down throughout our time together. Truthfully, the amount of time matters less than the quality of that time. Help me fill each day with joy and leave the rest in Your hands. I would feel immensely blessed if both of us, when our individual times comes, could end out days like Moses did. Seeing what lies ahead for those we love and being in Your presence on both sides of that last breath.