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Moses had been called to lead a company of people that continually grumbled, complained, and finally mutinied. It was not surprising that eventually Moses’ patience reached its breaking point, and in anger, he failed to follow God’s instructions. He disobeyed God at that one crucial juncture, showing a lack of trust in God’s ability to provide, and his punishment was that he would not be allowed to enter into the promised land. Instead, that honor would belong to his successor, Joshua.
However, God did take Moses to the top of the mountain and allow him to see the other side—the land that flowed with milk and honey. Then Moses died and the Lord buried him. As we read in Deuteronomy 34:5–6: “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.”
Despite his missteps, Moses’ life was characterized by obedience. He led a nation of rebellious, dissatisfied, disobedient, quarrelsome, and complaining people through the wilderness to the banks of the Jordan River. Through all the ups and downs, the years of wandering in the desert, Moses held high the name of Jehovah-Nissi—God our Banner. It was a banner of encouragement “to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11b).
Moses was able to defeat the forces of the Enemy because he was submissive to God’s will. He delivered his people from the chains of darkness and degradation because he complied with Jehovah’s instructions. Moses’ obedience and trust won him unfailing favor with God, and he is still known as a hero of the faith. This is not because he was perfect, but because he was obedient. All of us fail, sin, and fall short. Yet in His grace and mercy, God forgives us and still uses us for His work. Nothing in the past should deter you from obeying God today. You and I can help usher in that renewal through prayer.