Deuteronomy 34:4 “Then the LORD said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath…I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.’”
We’ve reached the end of the wilderness journey with the death of Moses and the placement of Joshua as leader of Israel. Joshua assumed command in order to lead Israel into their promised homeland because Moses had sinned against God ,who prohibited him from receiving the promise because of his disobedience. However, God was gracious enough to allow Moses to survey the land of Israel from Moab on top of Mt. Nebo. He could see it, but he could never enter it.
Moses must have been completely bummed out over his “review” of Canaan but never being able to actually stand on the soil of the land his people were promised by God. All the hard work he had done for over 40 years getting Israel ready to leave Egypt and then marching them through the deserts around Sinai for an entire generation only to come up short. He tasted the milk and honey with his eyes, but he never knew the real sweetness of the promised goods. How sad!
Could you imagine having worked for God your entire life and never receiving a promise from Him all because you disobeyed and did not trust Him enough to demonstrate His holiness before His people? This scenario is a real possibility even in the life of the modern believer. Contrary to popular belief and conventional wisdom, “once saved always saved” is not true. Read the words of Jesus regarding the branch that does not produce fruit. He said those branches are cut off by God the Father, bundled together and then throne into the flames. Where are those flames? In Hell!
Now Moses was considered righteous because of his deeds in following the Law, but he still had to accept the blood of Jesus when Jesus descended into Sheol and took captivity captive and led out the saints into heaven to their eternal reward. What Moses missed in this life because of disobedience, he regained in eternity through his faith in Messiah. We are afforded the opportunity to accept Messiah first and then work for Him. We are not righteous in our own doing because salvation is the gift of God by grace through faith to prevent anyone from bragging about earning their way into eternity with God. However, we can miss eternity with God IF we are fruitless in this life. Jesus didn’t mince His words. Think also of the parable of the unprofitable servant, who took what God gave him and buried in the ground doing nothing with it. He was thrown into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth! Again, that place is Hell!
We are not saved by works, BUT faith without works (doing what God says) is dead! What profit is brought to the Kingdom of God by dead faith? The NT tells us that we will stand before Christ’s judgment seat to receive our reward based on what we do in this life. If we served ourselves in the temporal, it will be burned up and allow us entry into heaven but only by the seat of our pants. If we did works for God, they will stand the test of fire and earn us His reward and rest. The servant who does nothing at all will be cast into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do what God tells you! Enjoy His rest and reward. Hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the rest of your Lord.”
Father, there are times I have missed it badly and blown it altogether. I am ever so grateful that You are loving and forgiving if we confess our sins to You. My desire is to do all that You have asked of me and commanded of me. I make it my life’s ambition to serve You with all due diligence and do so out of my love for You! I look forward to the day I stand in the city of New Jerusalem and not over in Beulah Land like Moses did. It is a pretty view from there, but I want to stand in downtown New Jerusalem right next to Your throne praising and worshiping You forever! Blow the shofar! In Jesus’ name, Amen.