Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXXII: Learning Lessons From Reviewing The Failures Of Great Believers
(Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1-6 and Luke 9:27-31)
  1. Introduction
    1. Solomon saw the vineyard of a lazy man and learned the high cost of laziness in doing so, Pr. 24:30-34!
    2. Well, as we know the Old Testament was written for our learning (cf. Romans 15:4), we can study the lifelong spiritual failure in even the great believer, Moses to learn an important lesson in heeding God.
  2. Learning Lessons From Observing The Failures Of Great Believers, Dt. 32:48-52; 34:1-6; Lk. 9:27ff.
    1. God commanded Moses to go up into a specific mountain in Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho and behold the Promised Land of Canaan before dying there on the mount, Deuteronomy 32:48-50.
    2. The reason Moses could not ENTER the land after all of his long years of delivering Israel from Egypt and leading the nation in the wilderness arose from judgment for a specific SIN he had committed:
      1. In a time of anger at the people, Moses failed to honor God in speaking to a rock to produce water, and instead struck the rock, claiming he and Aaron were supplying the people water, Numbers 20:7-13.
      2. This act publicly supplanted God's role with the role of Moses in the eyes of the people, a subtle form of making Moses an idol in place of God, and so it had to be countered severely by the Lord. Thus, just like the faithless generation already buried in the wilderness, Moses himself was destined by God to die outside of the Promised Land, Deuteronomy 32:51 with Numbers 27:12-14.
    3. Thus, Moses went up into the mount, and this directive of the Lord was fulfilled (Deuteronomy 34:1-4):
      1. Moses obeyed the Lord in going up into the mount, and there the Lord showed him visibly the Promised Land: God surveyed the land starting at Moses' right, looking northward in a huge arc that swung around from his right to his front and finally to his left, Deuteronomy 34:1-3.
      2. God then announced to Moses this was the land He was giving to the seed of the Hebrew patriarchs, a land Moses was seeing but would not enter, Deuteronomy 34:4.
      3. Next, Moses died there on the mount, and God buried him in a secret place lest anyone might unearth his bones and worship Moses opposite the will of God expressed in punishing him by his untimely death for once having exalted himself in God's place at the waters of Meribah, Deuteronomy 34:5-6.
    4. However, in his GLORIFIED state, Moses ENTERED that forbidden Promised Land due to God's GRACE, a wonderful sequel to his earthly life, Luke 9:27-31:
      1. In a preview of the Messianic Kingdom of Christ to come, Moses appeared with Elijah and Jesus Christ on a mount IN that formerly forbidden Promised Land, Luke 9:27-30,
      2. There, Moses with Elijah spoke of the ascension of Christ to exaltation and enthronement on the Father's throne that would come following His work on the cross in Jerusalem, Luke 9:31!
      3. Thus, Moses OCCUPIED himself in his GLORIFIED state with the PROPER EXALTATION of GOD in VICTORY over his earthly SIN of exalting HIMSELF!
Lesson: (1) Moses' record of great spiritual achievement was MARRED by his public self exaltation in the place of God, and cost him the missing of the GREATEST goal in his earthly life, entrance into the long-sought Promised Land. (2) However, due to God's GRACE, in his GLORIFIED state where there is no sin, MOSES finally ENTERED that formerly forbidden land, and offers us great HOPE in our coming ultimate perfection at the rapture.

Application: (1) May WE learn from observing the life of the great servant of God in Moses ALWAYS to exalt GOD and NOT OURSELVES as we serve the Lord, and that ESPECIALLY if God puts us in an oversight position. OUR job is to live and function to the glory of GOD, not to our own glory. (2) Lest we be discouraged at our past failures as believers, let us remember that MOSES finally ACHIEVED what God would NOT let him achieve in his mortal state -- ENTRANCE into the Promised Land, and that due to the GLORIFIED state. Thus, no matter WHAT our FAILURES, it is always worthwhile repenting and using what is LEFT of our lives to HEED the Lord. (3) May we learn from the FAILURES of even great Christians in Church History what NOT to do that we might be blessed of the Lord rather than be limited in our lives and ministries as were even these great believers!