Saturday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 (NKJV)
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”
5 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 a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. 7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished. 8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. So the days of weeping and mourning for Moses ended.
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11 in all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, 12 and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord….” (Rev. 14:13). In spite of the great wonders done through Moses, he could not avoid death. He was still a sinner, even though he was a sinner through whom God worked mighty things. Moses died because God’s Word is true and His promises are a clear testimony for all man. One cannot defy God without consequence. “Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.'” (Num. 20:12).
However, Moses was certainly the Lord’s servant, and He was with him. Moses was not redeemed because of his own righteousness, but because of the Lord’s mercy. The significance of this is shown even more by the fact that no greater servant would come until the Son of God came to manifest the Lord’s mercy. Moses brought the Law of God, but Jesus Christ brought the fulfillment of the Law, and the Gospel of forgiveness, which made Him greater than Moses. He was without sin, so even though He also died according to the promises of God, He laid His life down freely to pay the sacrifice that would take away the sins of the world.
We pray: Lord God, forgive us for our sins, with which we have offended You and justly deserve Your punishment; but keep us according to Your boundless mercy, which You have given us in Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord. Amen.