Pastoral Commentary for Deuteronomy 32:48-34:12
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
The epilogue to the book of Deuteronomy is the account of Moses' death. It was probably appended to the book by Joshua, chosen by God to succeed Moses and lead the people into the Promised Land. God took Moses up on Mt. Nebo and showed him the land which he could not enter because he had broken faith at Meribah. Before his death Moses blessed the Israelites. In the blessing, Moses calls the Israelites "holy ones." We are holy in God's sight only by faith. Moses summarized the faith with this beautiful promise: "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." He reminded Israel that it is not what they had done that distinguished them from the nations, but what God did. "Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD?" We too are a people saved by God through the death and resurrection of His own Son. This is also what makes us special, not anything we have done. God Himself buried His servant Moses so that none knew where his grave was. What a blessed life he lived! "Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone." Thirty days of mourning followed Moses' death, then Joshua, filled with the Holy Spirit, took up the mantle of leadership but, "Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face."