“Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, the Negeb, and… the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. And the Lord said, ‘This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, “I will give it to your offspring.” I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.’ So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab… Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated… (There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face) Deuteronomy 34:1-5,7,10
“On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
the Lord loves the gates of Zion
more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.
Glorious things of you are spoken,
O city of God.” Psalm 87:1-3
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going… For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God… [Moses] considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible… These, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better.” Hebrews 11:8,10,26-27,39-40a
“The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb… And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” Revelation 21:14,22-23
The description of Moses’ death, at old age and full vigor, gives motivation to keep our eyes clear and focused on the land of our future. This great man of God lived by the unwavering faith of his fathers, settling in and traversing earth’s land, but always with an eye for his heavenly home. Yes, a great part of his life here was spent leading Israel toward Canaan, but those years taught him that this world was not his home, and the city with faith’s foundation, whose architect and builder was God, was his true Promised Land.
What seems to us an aborted dream and grave disappointment for Moses is really an illustration of our glimpse here of heavenly hope. Here we work and strive for better and best, but never is our longing fully satisfied this side of heaven. Now we see dimly, then face to face. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
As we trek the plains of task and travel, will we pause earthly endeavors to climb the slopes of worship, to partake of heavenly vision, to stimulate faith in our unseen God and His promises? How are we building eternal anticipation in our temporal world?
Father, keep my eyes undimmed and my vigor unabated for Thee. Help me live daily in heavenly hope.