“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).”
I stood looking at the waterfall from a distance, a large walking stick in my hand. My family had gone on ahead over the slippery rocks and icy path to its base. I thought better of it because I did not want to risk falling and breaking something on my weak ankle. I had broken it in similar circumstances a few months ago.
I had walked for two hours up a slippery trail with my stick and wanted to reach the goal. But I had to be satisfied with a long range view.
In fact, staying at a distance was the smart thing to do. If I fell, not only I would be harmed but the my family would be also. They would have to figure a way to get me out of there. In addition, the long term effects of ending up in the hospital again would be devastating. So I stayed put.
I felt like Moses. I had a crooked staff in my hand, and I was viewing the promised land from a distance. I had always thought that the reason God kept Moses from entering the land He was to give to Israel was due to an earlier disobedience. But I gained some insight as I waited for my family to return from their close up of the falls.
It is true Moses was kept from the Promised Land because of earlier sin (Deuteronomy 32:48-52). Yet, I believe God also didn’t allow him to go for his own sake and for the sake of those in his charge.
There were probably many reasons why God told Moses not to cross the Jordan. Moses was getting on in years and it was time for him to step aside. It was time for younger, more energetic leadership in the form of Moses’ disciple Joshua.
Moses was a strong man of God who the people followed and trusted. But now God wanted to show Himself mighty on Israel’s behalf and defeat their enemies for them. God wanted the people to trust Him, not man (Deuteronomy 31:1-8).
So God told Moses to climb Mount Nebo and view the Promised Land from a distance. I am sure Moses, after carrying the people this far over many years, wanted badly to enter the new country. But God showed him the length and breadth of the place where His people would live from Mount Nebo. Then Moses passed away (Deuteronomy 34:1-5).
While standing there viewing the falls from 100 yards away, I was disappointed. But I knew God was looking out for me and my family in the situation, and He still gave me good view!
Who knows all of God’s purposes in our lives? Sometimes He may tell us why He does or does not do certain things, but sometimes not. One thing I do know: He can be trusted.