“And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’”Deuteronomy 3:23–25
This is one of Moses’ many requests of the Lord that he may enter the Promised Land, after the events of Numbers 20:10-13 in which he struck the rock in anger and was told he would not see Israel enter the Land. Can you imagine the pain of that consequence? After 40 years of faithfulness, to lose it all in a single moment? What a sobering reminder to us to be consistent in our pursuit of God and to recognize the gravity of sin against him, even when we are well into our walk.
In this passage, Moses cries out to God to see if God is wiling to change his mind. Notice the focus of Moses’ request, though. As he so often does, he appeals to God’s glory. Have you considered what Moses has seen in his 40 years of ministry? Is there a man on earth, pre-Jesus, who has more clearly seen God and his hand of might than Moses? Through the 10 Plagues, the Red Sea, the pillar of fire, Sinai, even the fact that God passed before him! Moses has so clearly seen God’s glory that he glowed with it (Exodus 34:29-35). And yet, when he makes his request of God, he says, “You have only begun to show your servant your greatness and mighty hand.” Wow! What a remarkable statement. Moses was greedy for the glory of God. He wanted to experience it. He didn’t want to enter the Promised Land as a personal victory lap, he wanted to see God’s glory displayed in the final step of the Exodus!
Oh, that we would have this same craving. Oh, that we would ache to see the Glory of God, taking every opportunity to see and savor it. Do you ask the Lord for that? Finally, consider Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 3. What Moses experienced of the glory of God is only a fraction of what we experience in Christ himself, revealed to us, abiding in us, sanctifying us and renewing us. Do you praise him for that? Do not take it for granted!
The “Isolation Introspection” series started as an opportunity for me to encoruage members of our Bible Study with daily reflections from the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan during the 2020 “Stay at Home” mandate in Los Angeles. I’ve moved them here so that they can be shared easily, and perhaps benefit others. I hope you enjoy!