The Lord Exalted: Deuteronomy 33:27-34:12

Deuteronomy 33:27‑34:12  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Deuteronomy 33:27-34:12
What marvelous words, “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” We may feel very low at times, as indeed we often have, but we can never get lower than those everlasting arms which are always underneath. When as a nation Israel comes to realize this and turns to the Lord, then the promised blessings will come upon them in all their fullness in that millennial day. Their land will then yield its increase, and the heavens will drop down dew. Then it will truly be said, as it is prophesied here, “Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord.” All will be fulfilled according to God’s faithful promise, founded upon the work of Christ on Calvary.
Moses Views the Land
After telling of these blessings, Moses then went up to the top of Mt. Nebo at the command of God and viewed the land. As we have noticed before, he could not enter the land, for he had failed to maintain the glory of the Lord before the people, thinking instead of his own position. When we become weary and angry because of the failure of the people of God, we place ourselves above them, when we are not really above them at all. In fact, we only find fault in order to shelter ourselves from the evil we cannot rise above, for if we were really above it, according to God, we would never weary, but seek the blessing of His people according to His mind. This honors and exalts the Lord, who will ever maintain His own glory — by us if we are faithful, or in spite of us if we are not.
The Death of Moses
Moses did not have any ordinary funeral, for he was the only man of whom we read in Scripture that was buried by the Lord. Perhaps the people would have made a great deal of his sepulcher had they known where it was, but the Lord did not allow them to find out, preventing this snare.
It is surely strange how men — even true Christians — will often resist the truth of God ministered by His servants, but when they are gone they will make a great deal of them. How our hearts are always prone to exalt man, but God would teach us to exalt Christ alone! If the truth of God is ministered, let us rejoice, esteeming the servant highly in love for his work’s sake (1 Thessalonians 5:13), but let us not give to any man, either living or having gone before, the place which belongs alone to Christ. Moses was the greatest prophet whom God ever raised up in Israel, but the time came when his service was ended, and then the Lord raised up Joshua in his place. There is only One who never failed, and who lives for evermore above. May we ever look to Him, and to Him alone!
“Jesus, Thou alone art worthy,
Ceaseless praises to receive.”
It is precious at the close of this interesting book to look back and trace the pleadings of the Lord with His people, and how often He exhorted them to walk in His ways. Even though He knew of their weakness and of the sad failure that would mark their history as a nation, He spoke often of their future blessing, which He in His faithfulness would bring in. May we who read these things be stirred up to walk more devotedly for the Lord, always counting upon His unchanging grace and love!
Further Meditations
1. Why might the Lord have buried Moses Himself?
2. Moses did enter the land of Israel but only after his death. When did he do it and what does the incident tell us about God and His faithfulness.
3. There’s an encouraging booklet on the burial of Moses by J. G. Bellett entitled God Exceeds His Promises.