The world in which we live looks different through the gift of grace.
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That same day the LORD said to Moses,
“Go to Moab, to the mountains east of the river, and climb Mount Nebo,
which is across from Jericho.
Look out across the land of Canaan,
the land I am giving to the people of Israel as their own special possession.
Deuteronomy 32:48-49 New Living Translation
There were many children seated firmly on their parent’s shoulders at Labor Day balloon festival in Colorado Springs. Memorial Park was alive with people who rolled out of bed early to watch the balloons launch into the cool morning air. I don’t know the exact number of people, but it looked like an ocean moving from balloon to balloon. How can a child see what’s happening when standing on the ground they’re looking at knee caps?
The best place was on their parent’s shoulders. The world looks differently on someone’s shoulders.
Moses didn’t actually sit on God’s shoulders, but he did obey God’s call to climb Mt. Nebo. The world looked differently for Moses on this mountain.
It must have been a bitter-sweet moment for Moses. He saw the land that the people would inherit; the land flowing with milk and honey; the land that God promised to give to his ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob hundreds of years earlier.
Yet he was not permitted to enter. As God calls him to climb Mt. Nebo, he reminds Moses of his sin and failure to show his holiness to the people of Israel at Meribah. Seems cruel, doesn’t it? Paul reminds us in Romans that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Why couldn’t Moses enter the land? He could see it and smell it but he couldn’t enter it.
Some questions remain answered only in the heart of God. What we do know is that God was gracious to Moses. Listen to how someone wrote about Moses death at the end of Deuteronomy.
There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.
Deuteronomy 34:10 New Living Translation
Yes, we all sin and fall short of God’s glory, and there are consequences related to our fall, but God is gracious. Moses looked forward to God’s redeeming love that you and I know in his Son, Jesus Christ. The world looks differently on God’s shoulders, because his shoulders are his place of grace. Moses knew God’s grace and we do also.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner