Thursday, January 29, 2009
Moses sees Canaan from afar
At that time, too, I entreated the Lord, saying: "O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your might; what god in heaven or on earth can perform deeds and mighty acts like yours! Let me cross over to see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and the Lebanon." But the Lord was angry with me on your account and would not heed me. The Lord said to me, "Enough from you! Never speak to me of this matter again! Go up to the top of Pisgah and look around you to the west, to the north, to the south, and to the east. Look well, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who shall secure their possession of the land that you will see." So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
Comment: I have always thought it was jolly unfair of God to not allow Moses to live in the Promised Land. But acts always have consequences. The early Hebrews did not think individualistically the way we do in American culture. The deeds of the Hebrew people were accounted to Moses. But Moses did get to SEE the Promised Land.
Often we do not get to see the fruits of our labor. But we get to see the ALMOST. For me, who has worked in civil rights for most of my life, the inauguration of President Obama was SEEING the Promised Land. Of course, we have not eradicated racism. We still have a long way to go on women’s equality and we are still in the desert on the issue of LGBT persons. But seeing a glimpse gives one heart for the journey.