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The Lord Showed Him All the Land
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: Moses’ life comes to a close before Israel enters the Promised Land. Though he delivered Israel from Egypt and led them through the wilderness, Moses was prohibited from crossing the Jordan after breaking faith with the Lord and failing to treat Him as holy before the people. He thus prepares Israel to enter the land without him by commissioning Joshua as his successor, composing a song for future generations, and offering a blessing for each tribe. The commissioning of Joshua includes a realistic assessment of the difficulties he will face, coupled with a reminder of God’s past faithfulness and a promise of God’s continued presence. The song provides advanced warning against Israel’s future apostasy, bolstering the truth of God’s Word and purposes for generations to come. The blessing represents Moses’ longing that God’s people will experience the fullness of God’s favor in due time even though he himself cannot be present. Moses’ significance for Israel cannot be denied, yet his life points us to the greatness of God, who has provided a greater prophet and perfect deliverer.
01. God’s purposes for His people are often intergenerational, requiring older believers to invest in younger believers and for younger believers to honor the past while embracing the future.
02. God’s promises for His people are seldom transactional, requiring all believers to live by faith until the fullness of God’s blessings are manifested.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. Trace the rise of Joshua as Moses’ successor in Exodus 17:8-13; 24:13; 32:17; Numbers 13:8; 14:6-9; 27:18-19; and Deuteronomy 1:38; 3:28; 31:23. What lessons would Joshua have learned from the life of Moses and his experiences in the wilderness? Which of these lessons are applicable today for younger believers?
2. Note how Moses was honest and upfront about Israel’s tendency to abandon the Lord (Deut. 31:16-18, 24-29), and yet he encouraged Joshua to be strong and courageous as he led the people (Deut. 31:7-8, 23). How important is it to have a realistic understanding of the times while having an optimistic view of the work we are called to do? Are you encouraged, discouraged, or a bit of both as it relates to future generations?
3. Why does Moses compose a song for Israel’s future? What is the power of music in reinforcing our thinking and shaping our understanding of the works of God? What songs or hymns do you find helpful as you consider the plans of God for your life and the life of the church?
4. How does the blessing of Moses in Deuteronomy 33 reflect the blessing of Jacob for his descendants in Genesis 49? In what ways do Moses’ final words to the tribes of Israel express hope for their future? In what ways are you expressing (vocally or visibly) hope for successive generations today?
5. Note that Moses was prohibited from entering the Promised Land, yet he was also remembered as a great prophet and servant of God (Deut. 34). What does Moses’ story suggest about appreciating great leaders without expecting them to be perfect in every way? What does it suggest about a society that denigrates its leaders because of past sins? How does the ending of Deuteronomy point us to the greatest Servant and Prophet of all? See Hebrews 3:1-6 for further insight.
For Further Reading: William Taylor, Moses the Law-giver (Baker Book House, 1886; Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2020).