Updated: Feb 16
Of all the stories I’ve read in the bible, I can think of none sadder than that of Moses. Born a Hebrew in an unsafe time, he was floated down the Nile River, away from his real mother, into the hands of the Pharaoh’s daughter. There he grew and flourished under the hand of Pharaoh until the day he discovered he was not an Egyptian, but a Hebrew. Knowing that the Pharaoh would soon hear the news, Moses fled Egypt into the land of Midian. He knew that Pharaoh would have him killed. There’s no doubt in my mind that Moses loved Pharaoh. He had known and admired him his entire life. How he must have hurt to know that Pharaoh would turn on him and have him killed when he heard the news. Have you ever been there? Loved someone deeply, shared a beautiful, loving, relationship with someone, only to have them turn on you years later? That hurts. And I’ve no doubt how difficult it must have been for Moses to be obedient to God and carry out God’s call on his life. It forced him into having to leave the land and the people he loved for the unknown.
From here we all know the story of, how years later God called Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery from Egypt and into the Promised Land that he had set aside for them.
We are all very familiar with all Moses went through in doing so. The countless times he traveled back and forth in and out of Egypt, each time knowing he was putting his life in jeopardy. We’ve read of the anger against him from the people he delivered, the hunger and thirst. We know of the physical exhaustion he experienced and many more difficulties and hardships. We’re more than acquainted with the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments (written by the finger of God) then breaking them because of his anger against the people. After that, the Lord sent Moses back up the mountain to carve out the tablets on his own. Not an easy feat to say the least. One can not say that Moses had it easy.
But the account that disturbs me the most is the consequences Moses had to face when he struck the rock. The Lord told him to speak to it, but Moses was angry with the people and he struck it. Because of this act of disobedience Moses was not allowed to cross over into the Promised Land.
I can not imagine the lament and anguish as he stood on the mountain and looked into the Promised Land knowing that he could not enter, especially after all he had gone through and all he had done. There on the mountain he remained, alone, until he died.
Fortunately for Moses, we know that he did get into Heaven according to the account of the Transfiguration recorded in Matthew 17:1-3.
In Revelation 20:11-15 we read about the Great White Throne Judgment. We see a vivid picture of the dead standing before God being judged according to their evil deeds. These are those who would not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This is yet another picture, different, yet similar to that of Moses’, where souls will be kept out of the Promised Land (Heaven) while being able to see it. Jesus told us in Luke 13:22-29 that there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth” when this happens. Another version says they will see those that God invited in, “reclining” in his presence. That makes it abundantly clear as to why they would be weeping and gnashing their teeth.
The fact is, we are given the opportunity each and every day to demonstrate to God through our deeds and our choices, where we choose to spend eternity. If going to church for two hours on Sunday is too inconvenient for you, why would you want to spend eternity in Heaven? If praying isn’t really your thing, why would you want to spend the rest of time locked in a place where you have communion with God?
The bible says that God is Just. (Deuteronomy 32:4) He loves justice. (Isaiah 61:8) And since God cannot go against his own nature, (Colossians 3:25) must come into play: “For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.”
We serve a good, good God who does not force his will upon us, but leaves it up to us to make our own decision about where we want to spend eternity. The choice is a simple one and we find the answer in Deuteronomy 30:15-20. It gives us crystal clear instruction on what is the best choice and the consequences of making the wrong one.
We can not return to yesterday and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. We only have today. Right now. 2 Corinthians 6:2b says, “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”
If you haven’t chosen life, I urge you to do so, since we only have this moment. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t run the risk of finding yourself looking into the Promised Land as others recline in His presence. Jesus said, “whosoeverwill, let him come.” “Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.”