1/31/2021 – Deuteronomy 26-30
Very unusual that Moses began to talk about himself: “So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. And he said to them, ‘I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The Lord has said to me, You shall not go over this Jordan. The Lord your God himself will go over before you . . . Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (31:1-3,6). There's a lot going on here. First, Moses knows he is old and he knows he has slowed down. Though still strong and sharp, no age denial, here. Second, he acknowledges the right judgment of God in prohibiting him from going into the land. He owns up to his own shortcomings. Third, and I think most importantly, Moses acknowledges Israel’s utter dependence upon God.
Leaders come and go. Especially, when an effective and beloved leader departs or passes away, a people or an institution might dejectedly ask, “Our leader is gone! Oh, woe is us! What will we do, now?” How silly for God’s people to respond in this way! Isaiah had it figured out, and he encouraged the people with God’s words: “I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame” (Isaiah 49:23). Oh, what a leader was Moses! But Moses died, and there was Joshua. Joshua died, and there were the judges who delivered Israel from her enemies. The judges died, and there was Samuel. Samuel died, and there were the kings, even a Davidic dynasty. But always, there was God! The words of the Psalmist: “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:3-5). Yeah! Israel will live in the land because God goes before her!