Have you ever worked really hard for something, got to the end, but it didn’t quite go the way you planned? In Deuteronomy 34:1-12 we reach the end of our journey with Moses. God’s people finally reach the promised land after many years of wandering in the desert. Moses, along with the rest of God’s people, experienced hardship, anger, frustration, confusion and fear. However, they are finally ready to cross into the promised land. Except, not everyone will enter. Moses climbs a mountain and the Lord shows him the whole of the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is expansive and it is glorious, but Moses’ story with his people comes to an end on the edge of the desert.
The story feels a little unfinished and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for Moses. We too strive and work to bring glory to God in various ways. It might be in the way we parent our children, the ways we serve others or the way we do our work to the best of our abilities. However, our plans and strivings don’t always result in the things we expect. Sometimes things are better and sometimes things are worse.
However, God is gracious in that we are given a vision of a promised land. A picture of a redeemed earth where there will be no more wandering, hunger and hardship. We are shown a glorious vision for the future so we can keep walking towards it. Furthermore, unlike Moses and the ancient people of Israel, we are given an extra assurance in Jesus. When we feel disheartened or when our strivings don’t result in what we expect, we can be encouraged that God is still at work in the world. We have seen the promised land, so let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).