The View from the Top

At 120 years old, Moses announced to the Israelite nation that his time had come. In Deut.34:1, God instructed him to ascend Mount Nebo where he would die. What a solemn walk that would have been for this great old prophet.

When he reached the top, God allowed him a look at all of the promised land. Mount Nebo is 2680 feet above sea level and stands just east of the Jordan valley, just across from Jericho. What a terrific place to preview the land. He would have seen the deep Jordan valley at his feet, and the high hills of the future Judea, where Jerusalem stood. God displayed the southern parts of the land at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and the northern limits in the distance. This would have been the pinnacle of Moses’ life, for he had never seen the promised land. For the previous 40 years he had led the people in its direction. The place had only existed in his imagination. This brief view would have fulfilled a dream.

As you know, Moses was not allowed to enter the land. The closest he would get was the view at the top of Mount Nebo. Then, after a good, long look, he passed away. God buried him in a nearby valley, but his final resting place is concealed.

God had actually done Moses a favour by letting him skip living in the new land. History records it became a place of tremendous strife and hardship. Instead, God took him into the heavenly realms. The rest of the people soon entered the land, but they would eventually destroy it.

Our position is something like that of Moses. We travel far in life and the way is difficult. We’re told about our reward in heaven, but we can only see it through the word of God and by faith. However unlikely it seems, the time is coming when we will enter it. Live by faith so that you will.

– Tim Johnson