“And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.” Deuteronomy 3:23-29
Mighty Moses was finishing the third forty-year season of life, having walked long and humbly with God. He had experienced His Lord’s providential care through his early years and education, His personal call to lead God’s people out of Egypt, and witnessed unexplained, magnificent miracles as God delivered Israel and guided them through the wilderness. (Exodus 2:1-10; 3:1-10; 6:6; 13:21-22; 14:19-30; 16:13-15; Numbers 12:3)
But Moses had a defining, and painful, moment that punctuated these years. When the incessant whine of the Israelites got to him, he twisted God’s command to speak by striking instead, and was immediately chastised. For not believing, nor upholding God as holy, he would not enter the promised land. The faithful, face to face friend of God, who had experienced His power and glory, His provision and protection, His awesome ‘otherness’ and personal compassion, was ‘just beginning’ to know His infinite greatness, and he could not get enough. He wanted more; but this side of heaven, that was not to be. (Exodus 33:11,13,18; Numbers 20:11-12)
When we savor God’s amazing grace and new mercies each day, when we behold His indescribable wonders and delight in the works of His hands, every moment can be as though we have just begun to see his magnificent, mighty hand. The more we taste and see, the more we want; what was a most spectacular taste of divine flavor only whets our appetite for a limitless feast. (Psalm 34:8; Lamentations 3:22-23)
Have you and I begun our lifelong relationship with our Lord? How often do we converse, and what are we learning of Him when we do? In any setback, He invites our honesty and sets our passion aright, and steers us forward. May we never tire of marveling at His wondrous deeds, His vibrant majesty, His measureless love toward His own.
Lord, each new day, may I begin afresh with You. May I take delight in my walk with You as though we have just begun. Keep me craving to know You better, pressing on to love You more. And may the expectant way I live draw others to want to take a first step with You. (Galatians 5:25)