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Deuteronomy 3 (ESV)

21 And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. 22 You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’

23 “And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, 24 ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? 25 Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26 But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ 29 So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.



Moses is honest in reporting his own personal failure to trust God, though he does not go into detail here.  The image of Moses pleading with God to be allowed to go over the Jordan and see the Promised Land is touching.  Moses had been a faithful and godly leader.  Yet his one act of disobedience was severely punished.  Why?  Undoubtedly to remind us that no one is immune to divine discipline.  No one can sin safely.

The aged leader, then some 120 years old, begged to “go over and see the good land”.  Instead God led Moses to the top of Mount Pisgah and gave him a glimpse of Canaan.

The sight from this height across the Jordan is impressive.  Rising from the fertile plain is a series of hills that gradually flow into an impressive range of mountains.  The rich colors and shades reflect the complexity of Palestine, with its wide range of climates and soils which make the land capable of growing every kind of crop.  Moses did not “go over” the Jordan.  But he did “see the good land” to which he had successfully led God’s people.



Have I ever, like Moses, been prevented from experiencing a much-anticipated event?  How did I feel?  What did I do?  Have a conversation with God, tell him my honest feelings: disappointment, despair, anger, upset…….  Wait for God’s response.