Today we read the final chapter of Deuteronomy, a chapter not written by Moses but probably by Joshua or Ezra to complete the writing and honor the man who had led Israel from Egypt through the wilderness. It is a chapter written with love and esteem, a chapter which remembers Moses for the man The Lord made him to be.
How do you hope to be remembered after your death? What would be the greatest memorial to you? Do you hope for a statue that declares your great courage during the battles of life? Do you want a funeral where people stand and your grave side, cry and talk about the good deeds you did? What are the deeds and character they will remember about you?
Who are you? Are you the person your parents hoped you would be? Are you the person the prince of the world hoped you would be? Are you the person God called you to be? Moses birth mother parents gave up their son as an infant to save his life. They were probably not exactly thrilled that he was raised in Pharaoh’s home as a royal son but he was alive and thriving. His adoptive mother probably wanted a royal life for him. She likely imagined him serving as the leader of Pharaoh’s army or doing some great work in his administration. Satan wanted him ashamed, living in banishment over the guilt of murder that he never would have been punished for. He wanted him disqualified from the life God had called him for. But God called Moses to be His friend, His prophet, and the leader of who would set His people free. Every circumstance his parents created to make Moses into who they hoped and every circumstance Satan put forward to turn him in the man he wanted, God used to make Moses into the man of God we remember him to be.
Verses 1-4 read,
Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”
Moses was at the end of his life and he spent the last hours with God alone. God showed him what He had accomplished and what His people would inherit. The Lord gave Moses a peace, letting him know he had done his job and done it well. In a way, He said, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” But now it was time for Moses to enter true rest. Verses 5-9 read,
So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, 6 and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8 And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
God spared Moses from becoming an idol. He was truly a man of God and God knew well enough that had Israel known where he was buried, they would have built an altar and worshipped him eventually. Moses didn’t have a grave, a statue, or a memorial stone. God Himself buried the man and no one knew where he was buried. It is not the physical monument that indicates the life a person lived. His legacy is in his life, character, deeds, and the people he mentored. Israel was able to mourn for the Moses but when the time for mourning was over, it was time to enter The Promised Land. Moses had not left them without a leader. God had appointed Joshua to take his place.
Though Moses did not have a gravestone, He was remembered. He was not remembered for killing a slave, for being slow of speech, or having a temper. He was remembered for being who The Lord had called him to be. Verses 10-12 read,
And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
Moses knew God more intimately than any man before him and better than any prophet since. The people remembered him as strong virile man even at 120 years old. They remembered him for the miracles God worked through him, for the parting of the Red Sea, bringing water from a rock, and leading them through the wilderness. They remembered him for his wisdom, judgements, andhis relationship with The Lord.
Moses parents wanted him to live and so did God. Maybe his mother didn’t want him to be among her own oppressors but she was probably glad he was alive at all. His adoptive mother wanted him to be a prince. Satan wanted him to be anything or anyone other than Israel’s deliverer. But God made Moses a prophet unlike any other in history, His friend, and the leader of a nation.
Who has God called you to be? Did you know He has called you to be His friend and His son or daughter? Are you a prophet? A teacher? A miracle worker? A healer? An evangelist? A shepherd? Whoever God has called you to be, you can be. The Father called you. Ephesians 1:3-6 reads,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
Jesus Christ saved you. Ephesians 1:7-11 reads,
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
The Holy Spirit indwells you, manifests in you, and transforms you. Titus 3:4-7 says,
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
And 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 reads,
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
God has made the way for you to be who He created you to be. Whatever people have done to make you who they want you to be, God can use for your good and His glory. Whatever Satan, the accuser of the brethren has used to quell you, God will use for your good and His glory. Romans 8:27-30 reads,
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Are you who God has called you to be, who He predestined you to be or are you who the prince of the world wants you to be? Are you a prince in Egypt or are you a King in the Promised Land? You were called to be distinctive, the amazing beloved child of God. 1 Peter 2:9-10 reads,
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Proclaim the excellencies of The Lord, your Father, Savior, and Comfort; be the chosen and royal son of God that you are meant to be. What will they say about you after your death? Will they say, “She was a good accountant” or whatever job title you held? Or will they say, “She was the glory of God, a teacher (prophet, healer, evangelist…) like no other, a good and faithful servant of her Father in Heaven.”