Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon. – Deut. 3:25
Scripture reading: Deut. 3:23-29, Numbers 20:2-13
In God’s denial of Moses’ request, we see some of the complexity of God’s relationship to us. God is a good Father. God freely forgives sins in Jesus Christ. But God does not acquiesce to Moses’ request.
The book of James tells us, “The prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Is Moses’ prayer the prayer of a righteous man? Moses failed to represent the righteousness of God before His people. In Numbers 20, we read that God told Moses to speak to a rock so that water would come from it. Instead of reflecting God’s merciful answer to a selfish request, Moses struck the rock with his rod and shouted at the people, calling them “rebels.” He failed to present God’s holiness to the people. But Moses was also a righteous man through faith in God. He pleads with a heart that loved the Lord.
We need to think of the prayer of Moses along the lines of Christ in Gethsemane. Like Moses, Christ prays, “Let this cup pass from me.” Christ’s desire is not evil. Moses’ desire is not evil. Moses prayer is a good prayer. However, it doesn’t seem to be a perfect prayer. Christ, unlike Moses, adds, “Lord, let your will be done.” Jesus, the truly righteous man, is better able than Moses to accept the verdict of the Lord. Moses sets an example, just as Christ does, in bringing all our burdens and hopes before God. However, we should also be willing to accept the verdict of the Lord, even a verdict we do not understand.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for being a faithful Father as our Lord Jesus Christ showed us. Pray that He may strengthen us in accepting His will in our lives.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. James Zekveld is the pastor of the Ambassador Canadian Reformed Church In Niverville, MB.