The Promised Land Seen Only From Afar

Thursday, August 16, 2012

“And the LORD spake unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, Get thee up into this mountain Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession” (Deuteronomy 32:49 KJV).

Moses did see the Promised Land, but he never did enter it. Why?

The LORD continues telling Moses: “And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people: because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the water of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel” (verses 50-52).

Numbers 20:1-13 explains why God disallowed Moses and Aaron from entering the Promised Land. They were to be spiritual examples to Israel, but when Israel complained for lack of water, Moses and Aaron grew upset. When God instructed Moses to speak to the rock to provide water for Israel (verse 8), Moses in an unbelieving fit of rage struck the rock twice (verses 10,11).

Verse 12 amplifies: “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”

By verse 28, Aaron is dead, and about two years later, we find the context of today’s Scripture, where Moses will now stand on Mount Nebo to see the Promised Land from a high vantage point, but he cannot enter, and will die shortly, just before Joshua leads them in. (Prophetically, Moses and Aaron will be resurrected and they will enter the Promised Land someday!; Revelation 20:6)

Why this “strict” punishment? The rock symbolized Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4), and unbelieving Moses disrespected Jesus Christ by striking Him when God had said to speak to Him.