Around this time in 2018 we bid farewell to one of the most influential evangelists of our time: Reverend Billy Graham. I did take a few moments to pause and reflect on his life and legacy and thank the Lord for His amazing servant who served Christ faithfully till the end. In this process, I listened to a video on YouTube titled Billy Graham’s Last Message to America and the World.
Listening to a leader’s last message has a very profound impact and significance that should cause the audience to pay extra attention because it contains nuggets of truth that the leader wants the people to always remember and never ever forget.
This week in our Bible Learning journey, as we read through Deuteronomy we too will read and listen to the last words of one of God’s most anointed leaders: Moses.
As we read the book of Deuteronomy, we will see that time stands still as Moses who is now 120 years old gives the people of Israel his final speeches and instructions before he is taken into glory. Here was a person who had the spent the first 40 years of life as an Egyptian prince growing up with the best life had to offer him in terms of wealth, comfort and superb training in all skills and arts of his time. He then gave it all up because he felt he had to somehow help his people the Israelites but ends up as an exile in the land of Midian for another 40 years (Hebrews 11:24-27).
We don’t know much of what happens during these first 80 years of his life except that after God called him out of the burning bush, his life would forever be changed. For the last forty years of his life, we see Moses continually standing in the gap between God and His people. And here are some things about him that stood out to me:
- He is humble. Numbers 12:3 says he was more humble than anyone in the face of the earth.
- He is faithful. In Numbers 12:7, God defends him stating he is faithful in all of His house.
- He is an intercessor. Several times we read that he pleads with God and he sought the favor of the Lord on behalf of the people of Israel.
- He loves God’s presence. We have read how he spends days at a time at the mountain of God spending time in God’s presence even without eating or drinking.
- He is a prophet who knew God face to face. Numbers 12:6-8 and Deuteronomy 34:10 both mention this.
And now that the time has come when he knows he longer will be around to keep pleading for the case of the Israelites with God, he imparts as much wisdom as possible. And that too to a new generation who have mostly grown up in the wilderness and who do not remember or know much about the land of Egypt. So, what does Moses tell them?
Here are a few highlights of what Moses does and says during his final days:
- First he recounts their wilderness journey reminding them of God’s faithfulness to them in spite of their their continued rebellion.
- He pleads with them over and over again to remain faithful to God and obedient to all the laws laid out by God.
- He repeats all the laws and commandments for the new generation of Israelites.
- He exhorts the people to obey the commands so that they may choose life and not death.
- He encourages and charges Joshua who is taking over the leadership.
- He sings a song of praise to God.
- He pronounces blessings to each of the Israelite tribes.
After all of this he climbs the mountain where God allows him to see the promised land from a distance before he dies and is buried by the Lord.
And as a final tribute to this great leader, here are the last few words in this book:
And if you want to get a good structural framework to help understand the book of Deuteronomy as whole, check out this very short video by The Bible Project team.
And here is rest of the info for you to embark on this journey on your own….
God’s anointed leaders who are yielded to Him are used mightily to shape, lead and guide entire generations towards the purposes of God.
Weekly Reading Plan
And if you want to read more during the week, here is the weekly plan:
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Read full text suggested above taking a note of Moses’s character, emotions and possible intentions.
- Read Hebrews 11:23-29 and note the additional highlights regarding Moses.
- Read Numbers 12:3. Meditate on what could have made Moses more humble than any other person.
- Optional: Read Psalms 28-30
And that is it for week 10!
Happy Bible Learning!