Deuteronomy 3:23-25 “And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.”
Moses was now one hundred and twenty years old. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us that “his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” God had given him wisdom and strength to lead the people for forty years. So many times, his faith and patience had been tested by the murmurings and complaints of the people. Verse 10 of this same chapter states: “there was no prophet like Moses in Israel whom the Lord knew face to face.”
In all those years and through all those circumstances, Moses had always sought God, listened, and obeyed His voice. Except for one time. When Israel cried out for water for the second time, God told Moses to speak to the rock. Moses was so angry and frustrated with the people, that instead of obeying the Lord, he struck the rock with his rod. God told him that because of this, he would not enter the Promised Land with the rest of the people.
The Rock in the wilderness was a type of Jesus Christ. From the rock flowed water that satisfied the thirsty travelers. Jesus said He was the water of life, and from Him flowed salvation for whosoever called upon Him. Jesus died once, so in striking the rock the second time, Moses broke the type.
Now when it is Moses’ time to die, he prays to the Lord once again, asking for permission to enter the Promised Land. This had been the goal he had been striving for, and he hoped maybe God would change His mind. But it was not to be so.
Deuteronomy 3:26-27 “But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.”
God told him not to ask again. The decision was final. I am sure that Moses was disappointed but knew that this time He could not change the mind of God.
Because we are human, we tend to make plans and then ask the Lord to bless them. There will be times when we may be praying for something that is not God’s will for us. Even though He has shown us that the answer is no, we tend to keep on praying about it. God may be telling us to speak no more to Him about it. That is why it is so important that when we pray, we take time to listen as well as talk. The Lord knows what is best for us.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you hear every prayer that we pray. Help us to always listen to your still small voice, and be willing to accept the answers you give, whether they are what we thought we wanted or not.
Devotion by Anne Johnston