Understanding the Old Testament

The Death of Moses

(All quotations are from the New American Standard Bible translation)

Much of the book of Deuteronomy consists of Moses speaking to the Israelites—recounting some of their journeys, reminding them about many of God’s laws, and exhorting them to be faithful and obedient to Him. Deuteronomy ends with Moses’ death on Mount Nebo, across from Jericho, at the age of 120. (Deuteronomy 34:5, 7) Moses had been preceded in death by his sister, Miriam (Numbers 20:1), and his brother, Aaron.

Before he died, Moses commissioned Joshua as his successor, as the Lord had instructed. (Numbers 27:15-23; Deuteronomy 31:23) Moses also wrote down the laws that God had given him and entrusted them to the care of the Levites. (Deuteronomy 31:24-26) Finally, he blessed each tribe of the Israelites. (Deuteronomy 33)

When he had finished, Moses walked up Mount Nebo, where the Lord showed him all of the land which would one day belong to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 34:1-4). But because of Moses’ disobedience at Kadesh, the Lord had decreed that Joshua, not Moses, would lead the people into the Promised Land. (See also Deuteronomy32:48-52.)

Questions to ponder or discuss
: In what could be either history or prophecy, Moses ascribes the Israelites’ idolatry to them getting “fat, thick, and sleek”—that is, prosperous. Why do you think prosperity so often leads us away from God, just as adversity turns us back to Him? Read Deuteronomy 8:11-14 and 1 John 2:15-16. How do those verses impact your answer?

.Copyright 2018 by Don Davidson

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