Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Our Closest Friend

Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land... Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”

And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.
Deuteronomy 34:1, 4-6

Moses once spent 40 days in God's presence on Mt. Sinai receiving the law. Now, at the end of his life, Moses climbs another mountain to be alone with God again. Moses will never enter the Promised Land because of his failures. God holiness will not allow Him to ignore Moses' sin, but he does call him up on a mountain to see the Promised Land before he passes. Then Moses' God ends his life. Notice the tenderness here. The passage implies that God cares for Moses' body like a friend would. His body was born up from the mountain and taken down and buried in the valley. Whether it was the hand of God or of angels that did this, we do not know. But God saw to it that his friend received a proper burial.

It's fitting that Moses' life should end this way. Elsewhere Scripture says of him that "the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend" (Exodus 33:11). He enjoyed an uncommon communion with God, often entering into God's presence alone. This brings to mind a proverb. "Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy" (Proverb 14:10). Our most cherished loved ones are often physically present with us at the significant events in our lives, yet even they cannot truly be ushered in to share the experience in our heart. Just like Moses, there is a sense in which we all experience our highest and lowest points alone. But it doesn't have to be this way. Scripture teaches that human hearts lie open before the Lord (Proverbs 15:11). There is a communion the believer can have with God that far surpasses any earthly relationship. Those who believe in Jesus have the very Spirit of God dwelling in them. Who can know my heart better than me? The Spirit within me can! Through His Son Jesus, God has made a way for you to enjoy nearness to Him that is even greater (in some senses) than what Moses enjoyed. God can be your closest and most trusted friend with whom you truly can share the big and little moments of your life. 

So I encourage you to make time to spend alone with God. Cultivate a relationship with Him. Make it a priority. Get up early and spend time in prayer and Bible reading. Find a method or a rhythm that works for you and keep doing it. It takes time to build an intimate relationship with a person; shouldn't we expect it to take time with God as well? So stick it out. Set aside thirty minutes a day for seeking God in Bible reading and prayer and don't give up. If you are honestly and humbly seeking Him, He will meet you halfway. (James 4:8).

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