S (scripture): Deuteronomy 32:48 On that very day the LORD addressed Moses as follows: 49 “Ascend this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites for a possession; 50 you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin; 51 because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites. 52 Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall not enter it—the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”
O (observation): Moses is about to end his time leading the Israelites as he will soon die. Moses is one of the most revered leaders in all of scripture – in all of human history. Leading a nation of people through the wilderness for 40 years is an amazing accomplishment, done with a huge dose of the grace of God. That said, I believe Moses gets hosed here. Because he “broke faith” in what seems to me to be a trivial offense (striking a rock for water twice rather than once) he won’t be allowed to enter the Promised Land. I’m sorry God, but that’s jacked up. Furthermore, God says Moses failed “to maintain my holiness among the Israelites”. Really!? That was Moses’ work to do? Moses is to blame for sinful people (people God created) failing to observe ALL of the impossible rules God authored? That’s on Moses? Ridiculous.
A (application): If God thinks a leader like Moses ultimately let God down, then I would ordinarily have NO HOPE of pleasing the Lord. None. My long list of foibles surely makes those of Moses look trivial and pedestrian by comparison. That’s honestly what I’m thinking. That said, I will lean on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, who died and rose again for our sakes. In Christ is my hope and my salvation.
P (prayer): Lord, let it be so. Amen.