Sunday, May 13, 2018

falling short

The Word for today:
Deuteronomy 38: 48-34:12
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
(Romans 3:23)
So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day. Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit… (Deuteronomy 34:5-9a)
And so we say goodbye to Moses. Five books and forty years later, we leave him atop Mt. Nebo, looking across the Jordan River, past Jericho, all the way to the hills of Jerusalem—even to Calvary itself. He fell just short of the Promised Land.
Technically, the reason he could not enter the land was because he struck the Rock when God told him to speak to it.
But typically, the reason he could not enter was because the Rock was a type (prophetic picture) of Christ:
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4)
The Rock had already, by God’s command, been smitten (see Exodus 17:6) and Christ the Rock is smitten only once—at the cross.
Thus God, in Numbers 20:8, tells Moses to only speak (a picture of prayer) to the Rock.
Moses was not careful to preserve the rock as a type of Christ when he struck it. Thus Moses is forbidden to enter the Promised Land, because he believed God not, to sanctify Him in the eyes of the children of Israel (1)—which is to say that God jealously guards his prophetic pictures of Christ to come. No one, including Moses the friend of God, is ever allowed to distort a picture of God’s only one.
Ironically, these incidents turn Moses into a type himself. By leaving Moses on Mount Nebo as Israel entered the land, God makes Moses, the Lawgiver, a perfect picture of the law itself -- which can lead us towards Christ but can never, in and of itself, deliver us:
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)
It is left to Joshua to be the picture of Christ the Savior.
When you think “Joshua,” think “Jesus.” The names Joshua and Jesus derive from the same Hebrew name, Yeshua, which means "Jehovah Saves." (See Matthew 1:21)
So just as Joshua succeeds Moses and gains the victory that Moses could not deliver, Jesus succeeds the Mosaic law and wins the victory over sin and death that we cannot achieve:
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
(1) Numbers 20:12

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