Friday, August 21, 2009


Deuteronomy 34:1-5

Moses climbed up Mount Nebo. He was 120 years old but he still climbed with the agility and strength of a young man. He was going up the mountain to die. He didn’t feel like he was about to die. No, he felt like he always remembered feeling. With God going before him he was ready to take on whatever came down the road. He still had a bright eye and a spring in his step. He still had that inner energy that he felt when he was only 80 and stood before Pharaoh.

But God had told him he was going to die that day on that mountain. He stood on the summit and God opened his eyes to see the entire land of Canaan. This was the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This was the land to which God had told Moses to bring the people of Israel. It had been a long road. Forty years of traveling. Forty years of following the fire and the cloud. Forty years of meeting with God, hearing his word, and proclaiming it to the people.

Moses looked out over the land and saw that it was rich and flowing with milk and honey. He could have thought about his life and his legacy. What a life! Put into the Nile as an infant, found by Pharaoh’s daughter, and raised as Egyptian royalty. Forty years spent as a member of the royal family with all of Egypt at his feet. But then came his flight into the wilderness and forty more years of shepherding, marriage, and children. Then that day his life was changed. The bush burned and was not consumed and God spoke to him and called him to his life’s purpose.

What a life! He returned to Egypt with his older brother, Aaron, and called upon Pharaoh to let God’s people go. He called down God’s miraculous plagues on the Egyptians. He led the people out of Egypt. He stretched out his staff and the Red Sea parted and all Israel passed through the Sea safely while Pharaoh’s army was drowned. He climbed Mount Sinai and met with God and received the tablets of commandment. He built the tabernacle. He met with God face to face in the tent of meeting.

What a life! God provided manna and water in the wilderness. He brought quail into the camp so the people could have meat. He led Israel behind the fire and the cloud. God spoke, Moses listened. He told the people what God said whether they wanted to hear it or not.

What a life! What a legacy he would leave behind! But as Moses stood on Mount Nebo in the last minutes of his life he was not thinking about his legacy. He was not thinking about how he would be remembered. He was thinking about his failure. The last recorded words of God to Moses are, This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, “I will give it to your descendants.” I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it. Instead of speaking to that rock in the wilderness; instead of doing what God told him to do; he had called attention to himself and struck the rock! And for this he would not enter the land!

Men think of things like legacies. When politicians and coaches see retirement looming they talk about their legacies. When young pastors wake up and realize that they are old pastors they are tempted to think about their legacies. How will I be remembered? Will I be remembered? Will people talk about me when I’m gone?

At the end of a long and glorious life, Moses was not thinking about his legacy. He was faced with two things: his sin and God’s grace. I remind myself that these are the two things that really matter. I am a sinner and God has been gracious. In light of these things, what is a legacy?


At 7:17 PM, Blogger donsands said...

Very nice thoughts.

God's people are such sinners, aren't we. But we hate that we sin, and hate that we even like our sin.

That's the difference in a regenerated heart, like Moses'.

God blessed even though, and he was able to stand with Elijah and the Lord Jesus Christ in the promised land.

Here's a song I like a lot, and hope my wife will play it at my funeral:

"When the music fades into the past,
When the days of life are through,
What will be remembered of where I've come?
When all is said and done?

Will they say I loved my family?
That I was a faithful friend?
That I lived to tell of God's own Son?
When all is said and done.

Of how I long to see the hour,
When I would hear that trumpet sound.

So I could rise and see my Savior's face,
And see him smile,
And say 'Well done.'

You can forget my name
And the songs I've sung,
Every rhyme and every tune.
But remember the truth of Jesus' love,
When all is said and done

When all is said and done." -Geoff Moore

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Thanks donsands! Great to see you again! That songs says it pretty well, I think. If people can say I was a faithful follower of Christ then he will receive the glory instead of me. The temptation to be remembered as someone important is too great for many of us!


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