Land of Promise

by Justin Morton

There was no greater prophet in the eyes of the Hebrew people than Moses. He was responsible for going before the Egyptian Pharaoh, helping free the Israelite people from Egyptian slavery and leading them through the wilderness for 40 years. At his death, the Bible records, there was not another prophet like Moses in all of Israel (Deut. 34:10).

And yet, with all the good that came from the life of Moses as a leader of God’s people, his life was greatly impacted by one poor decision. Near the end of the Israelite’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the people found themselves once again in need of water but with no water anywhere in sight. After listening to the complaints of the people, Moses and Aaron went before God. God instructed Moses to take the staff in his hand, gather the assembly and speak to the rock and water would spring forth for all the people and their cattle (Num. 20:1-8).

What Moses did next really stands out. He took the staff in his hand and assembled the congregation, just as God had commanded. Then Moses deviated from God’s plan. Instead of speaking to the rock like God had instructed, Moses struck the rock with his staff twice (Num. 20:9-11). Although water did come forth from the rock, Moses and Aaron had to pay a high price for their disobedience. The Lord told Moses and Aaron neither one of them would bring the people into the land He had given them (Num. 20:12).

Moses, one of the greatest prophets in all of Hebrew history, had a moment of weakness which cost him dearly. He had spent many years of his life serving the Lord and His people and helping lead them to the great land of promise, only to miss out on the prize himself. In spite of all the good Moses had done, his disobedience to God cost him the one thing he so desperately wanted, the Promised Land (Deut. 3:23-29; 34:1-6).

I know many of us have spent years of our lives in service to the Lord and His people. And while what we have done in the past is important, what we are doing and will continue to do in the future is of even greater importance. Never take your eyes off the prize of heaven. Faithfully obey God and His Word in all that you do each day, so that you do not miss out on our great Land of Promise.