Choosing life. Choosing each day whom and what to follow. Choosing each day how to pay attention and respond to what is and even seeing it as what could be. I do believe this is a choice I make each day that counts. There aren’t wasted days or days with nothing important that happens really.
This truth flowed through these words from Mitch’s sermon last week about Moses.
Why didn’t Moses get to enter the Promised Land? If anyone had earned some time in the land of rest, it was the one who had worked more tirelessly than anyone to get the people there. So why was he left on the outside looking in? If that were the end of the story we would have have have to say that the summation of his life would only involve “He didn’t make it. He missed out.” You never see an obituary like that.
This sermon, based on the old testament story from Deuteronomy 34, recounted Moses’ final look at the promised land before his death and then his “obituary” if you will. Mitch titled the sermon “An Unfinished Life” imagining that Moses would say he wasn’t “finished” with this life when he died. However, the lesson is how he lived his days not how he finished.
Part of [his story] Moses could tell and part would have to be told after he died. First, the part he could tell. You’ve heard about Moses and the burning bush; of enduring the plagues in Egypt before Pharaoh allowed the people to leave; of being chased by the Egyptians into the Red Sea and crossing on dry ground; of surviving the people’s grumbling, moaning, complaining, hunger and thirst in the barren wilderness when they all thought they were going to die as they marched toward the Promised Land. More mumbling, groaning and complaining, “Why did God send us out here just to die, we should have just stayed back in Egypt.”
Then God complied, “I’ll give them water. Speak to the rock and from the rock it will come.” Moses mad, frustrated, and tired of people’s complaints at anything and everything– didn’t speak to the rock, but instead hit the rock. In fact he lashed the rock. The people got water and Moses got heartbreaking words.
The heartbreaking words, that he wouldn’t go into the promised land are heard for me to hear. I want happy endings. But if I focus just on this part, on this disappointment however great, I miss the more important story.
After his death, what people remembered, or at least the writer of Deuteronomy chose to record for all time, was that Moses’ “eyesight was stellar and his energy never wained.”
…I think it means that Moses saw things that others didn’t see and that he didn’t give up when others gave up long ago. His obituary continues. His influence with other people was far reaching. He had been an influence in Joshua’s life; so much so that people of Israel respected and followed Joshua because of what Moses had meant to Joshua and taught Joshua.
These verses indicate that the Lord know Moses “face to face”, knew him intimately and personally.
Do you think knowing the Lord face-to face means that you begin to look like God? To resemble God’s character, to become similar in actions, attitudes and behavior? Read on…He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders the Lord sent him to perform and for the mighty deeds and displays of power that he did perform. Does that seem to mean that he did what God asked? Even though he didn’t make it to the Promised Land, people were changed and people’s lives were influenced because of who he was and what he did.
This part wasn’t in the sermon but a few chapters before the writer of Deuteronomy reminds: We have set before us each day life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life. These are choices that matter.