(Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 33:1-29; 34:1-12)
From Last Acts and Death of Moses
By Luca Signorelli
Early 16th Century
Finishing at the top
God called Moses to the top of Mount Nebo, where he would view the entire Promised Land before he died.
Moses remained faithful to the Lord and to his divine calling to the end of his life. Who among us would not desire to finish on such a high? Instead of winding up his life in the valley of doubt or despair or lingering in the lowlands of guilt and grief, Moses climbed to the peak for his final breaths.
Before Moses died, he pronounced a prayerful blessing, or benediction, over the twelve tribes of Israel.
Blessing the children of Israel
Tribe by tribe, the patriarch prayed for the children of Israel. (Curiously, Simeon does not seem to be included in the list.) For each tribe, Moses issued a unique and individualized intercession.
Parents, teachers, pastors and other leaders know the value of praying specifically for individuals. Each has his or her own challenges and strengths. What mother or father (either biological or spiritual) could not find helpful prayer prompts among the blessings Moses uttered over the children of Israel?
These Scriptures offer excellent leadings for interceding for parents and others who desire the Lord’s influence and intervention in the lives of those we love.
In particular, I love the prayer for Benjamin’s clan:
“Moses said this about the tribe of Benjamin:
‘The people of Benjamin
are loved by the Lord
and live in safety beside Him.
He surrounds them continuously
and preserves them from every harm.’”
Why not offer this prayer to the Lord today for a child you love?
_________ (insert child’s name) is loved by You.
May he/she live in safety beside You.
Surround him/her continuously today,
and preserve him/her from every harm.
An unknown burial site
In God’s Word, we read an excellent tribute to Moses.
“Since that time
no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses,
whom the Lord knew face to face,”
The Scriptures tell us that the Lord buried the body of Moses Himself. Perhaps God did this for the protection of all of us, knowing our human tendency towards hero worship and idolatry. If Moses’ burial place cannot be found, then it cannot become a shrine to detract our adoration from the Lord Himself. Would God or Moses have had it any other way?
Will you pray with me?
Father of mercy and might,
We praise You for Your power,
And Your purpose for our lives.
Pronounce Your blessing upon those we love.
Teach us to pray
According to Your promises
In Your Word.
Make us strong,
And kindle within us
The desire to finish well.