Biblical Last Words: Moses Blesses

Biblical Last Words: Moses Blesses

Biblical Last Words: Moses Blesses. 

“How blessed you are, O Israel! Who else is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your protecting shield and your triumphant sword! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall march on their high places! (Deuteronomy 33:29).

Much like Jacob in his dying moments, Moses gave prophetic blessings to the tribes of Israel before his final breaths on earth. “This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave to the people of Israel before he died.” (Deut. 33:1). His final words exclaim how lucky Israel is to have God on their side, and how unlucky their enemies are to have God oppose them.

But there must have been a mood of sadness in Moses’ spirit as he extended those final words to his people. God had just told him something that must have broken his heart. The Lord confided to Moses that as soon as His people enter the land of Canaan, they will abandon God and chase after the foreign gods. They will violate their marriage covenant with God, they will commit spiritual adultery (Deut. 31:16). We wouldn’t blame Moses if he felt like a failure. After all his work of delivering the people out of the clutches of Pharaoh and away from the slavery of Egypt. After leading and guiding them for forty grueling years through the wilderness doing the impossible. After helping them finally reach the entrance to the Promised Land of their forefathers. After all that sacrifice and commitment, the Chosen People will act like they are not God’s people at all. After Moses dies, the Lord told him, they will act like they never heard of their Savior Yahweh.

Moses was undoubtedly heartsick as he spoke the end of his blessings. He might have been a bit outraged as well. After speaking these blessings in Deuteronomy 33, he climbed Mt. Nebo with God to witness the far reaches of the Promised Land, his goal after all these years. At this point, in his disappointment, he could only find hope for the Israelites in the forgiving grace of God, in God’s fidelity to His covenant with the people. Moses must have felt like a parent who can only watch helplessly as his children wander away from everything he has taught them growing up. Moses was perhaps the greatest leader who ever lived, yet he couldn’t make their decisions for them. Moses had to let it all go in his dying moments and trust in His God.

When Moses died somewhere there on Mt. Nebo, he was 120 years old… Forty years in Egypt growing up; forty years as a shepherd; forty years in the wilderness with his people. His eyesight remained clear to the end, and his strength was not diminished. Despite the disappointing news of their future rebelliousness, Moses closed his life on a hopeful, optimistic note. Israel is blessed. The Lord is their refuge. Their enemies are destined to fail. Moses earnestly sought to be an encouragement to his people till his dying breath.

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