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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Messages » One Last Look

One Last Look

I’ve been thinking a lot about life this week. With the tragedies that happened in Boston, Waco and southwest China it makes a person think about their own lives. We’ve all been given a limited number of days to spend on this planet; some have only a few days while some have many years. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter if someone lives to be a hundred they still seem to leave too soon.  Each of us will get to the end of our lives one day when we probably don’t want to. Today I want to look at that time.

I was reading in Deuteronomy chapter thirty-four a few weeks back about the end of Moses life. As I read through Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy over a few months I examined the incredible life of Moses. This great man had patience like no other with God’s people. Time and time again they rebelled against God and Moses went to plead their defense. Time and time again he saved their lives. No wonder he is a type of Christ. And yet, this man was only human. He did not live a perfect life. He had his own skeletons in the closet as we all do. He drifted away from God’s plan on more than one occasion. Once he murdered an Egyptian and had to run away for forty years.

As I read about the Children of Israel turning again to their own ways in spite of obvious miracles happening I felt a frustration in my own life. Since Moses is a type of Christ are the Israelites symbolic of the Church?  They surely are. We all have had to depend on Jesus to sit at the right hand of the Father and make intercession for us just as Moses did for Israel (Numbers 14). In our rebellion we would have been destroyed if not for the Savior.

Moses lived a more righteous life than anyone I have ever met. Yet, he failed to fully obey God and suffered the consequences of his sin. Look at Deuteronomy chapter thirty four starting in verse one. God showed Moses the Promised Land from a mountain. It was his life’s goal to lead Israel to this land. For forty years he had lived in Egypt. Then, he lived in the wilderness forty years until God called him from a burning bush to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. After many miracles God brought them out of slavery. But in their rebellion the Promised Land was taken away from them and given to their children. They were forced to wander for forty years in the wilderness until that generation died away. Moses would still have been able to take this new generation into Canaan but he failed God. In verse four God told him he would not go in.

In spite of always being patient with the people Moses lost his temper one day. In Numbers chapter twenty we read that the people reached a point where they had no water. This was not the first time they had to trust God for water in a desert and He had provided it miraculously before (Ex 17:6). Moses was told to strike a rock and water gushed forth to quench their thirst. In Numbers twenty they again had no water. Instead of humbly trusting in God as they should have they rebelled against Moses again. They cried out wishing they were back in Egypt. As I read this I was reminded by the Spirit of the many times I had doubted God in need of the same thing He had already done before. Healing? He has healed me many times before. Provision? A Job? God has always provided for my needs and the needs of my family. I have seen God faithful for years in every area of my life. So why does my flesh still cause me to doubt at times?

While there are many characters in the Bible who are a type of Christ none of them perfectly act out Jesus since all of them are simply humans. Moses was no exception to this rule. He faithfully stood in the gap between God and His people. But this second time that the people doubted God about water Moses lost his temper. Make no mistake-Christ faithfully defends you and me and never gives up His case for us. He became the propitiation of our sins. He never loses His temper with us.

The first time they cried for water Moses went to God asking for an answer (Ex 17:4). God told him to strike a rock with his staff and that water would flow. When it happened a second time (Numbers 20) God told Moses to speak to the rock and that water would flow. Instead of speaking to the rock as God commanded he struck it with his staff twice (v 11). When he did this God provided water but told Moses that he would not go into the Promised Land (v12).

And so we come to the end of Moses life in Deuteronomy chapter thirty-four. God indeed brought him to Mount Nebo and allowed him to see that which he worked so hard for but never was able to partake of. When I pondered these events it occurred to me that all of us would someday have one last look. We will be faced with the events of our lives-our triumphs and failures and see that which we could have done. If Moses, that great man of God failed I don’t believe anyone will think they did everything they should have. We all must remain diligent.

The lessons here are that life is short and each decision can make or break us. God has a perfect will for our life. He allows challenges to make us into the people we need to be. He stretches our faith and builds us into the strong people of God if we will remain faithful to Him. All of us will fail in some areas but some people will fail Him completely. Look in Luke chapter nineteen. Starting in verse twelve Jesus gave a parable of ten servants. In this story the master gave each servant a talent (a measure of money) to invest while he went away. Some of the servants declared that they would never follow this master. When he returned from his trip he called them all to account for their actions.

The first one had made ten times the amount and presented it to his master. The second one had made five times the amount. The third one announced that he only had the original talent. He stated that he hid it because he knew his master was a harsh man. The master rebuked him and took away even the talent he originally had. He gave it to the servant who had made ten times the amount.

What lesson are we to learn in all this; first, Moses’ life and then this parable? The lesson is that God expects us to be productive in this life and follow His plan to the best of our ability. We probably will make mistakes but God expects us to try. The servants all had the same opportunity. They had the same amount of money to invest, buy and sell with. Two are mentioned as having done something with it. One did nothing and the rest seemed to rebel against being under this man (v14). The man who did nothing with his talent lost it all. The rebellious servants were taken and killed (v27).

Let me ask you something. If today was the last day you would wake up would you say that your life has been successful? Would you stand before the Master and tell Him that you had done all within your power to be productive according to His will for your life? Or would you be like the man who hid his talent in fear that he would fail? Finally, would you be like the remainder who simply rebelled against the Master and did as they pleased? All of us fall into some category here. All of us must someday give an account of our lives.

We spend each day in habits that we have formed through the years. We go through the same routines on weekdays and another on weekends. We take life reactively instead of proactively. When something happens we then act. We never listen to God or ask for His guidance and in failing that area we fail all others. He wants to make us successful. He has a plan if we will only act. We cannot sit by and watch life go by any longer. We must act. And like Moses, we must be cautious. Given the choice I would rather be like Moses and fail in some area than to sit by in fear of trying.

Peter was one of the greatest Disciples. He was known for his brash and bold personality. We might think of Peter as stumbling and loud mouthed. He often spoke out of ignorance while others sat in silence. We remember him for trying to walk on water with Jesus and sinking. But remember, he did walk a few steps! I’d rather be like Peter and try walking on water than be one of the others sitting safely in the boat.

One day we will be given a view of what we could have had. God will show us all how our lives were supposed to be and where we would have ended up. I personally have failed Him in so many areas of my life. I spent so much time on things that really didn’t matter. I ignored the needs of my family and friends when I should have helped. I held my money when I should have freely given to the needy. I turned away when someone asked for assistance in matters of life. I studied just enough to pass the test when I should have given my all because He deserves my best.

What about you, friend? Have you done well with the life the Master has given you? Did you go about it half-hearted like the servant who received back five? Maybe you are in fear of failing so you’ve hid your talent and produced nothing for Him. I encourage you today to make the most of your life from this moment on. He is worthy of our best. Will there be mistakes? Yes, but don’t give up. The only real mistake is not trying.

Father-I pray for courage for someone today who is afraid to step out for You. They have hidden their talents and have never tried to live for You or in Your will. May they see the joy possible when they take a step towards the wonderful plan You have for them. Help us all to forgive ourselves in our failures and to pick up and press on toward the mark and high calling of Christ Jesus.

In Jesus’ Name-Amen

paul

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Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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