From Eternity Past


Chapter 43—The Death of Moses

This chapter is based on Deuteronomy 31 to 34.

In all dealings of God with His people, there is, mingled with His love and mercy, the most striking evidence of His strict and impartial justice. The great Ruler of nations had declared that Moses was not to lead Israel into the goodly land, and the earnest pleading of God's servant could not secure a reversing of His sentence. Yet he had faithfully sought to prepare the congregation to enter the promised inheritance. At the divine command, Moses and Joshua repaired to the tabernacle, while the pillar of cloud came and stood over the door. Here the people were solemnly committed to the charge of Joshua. The work of Moses as leader of Israel was ended. EP 333.1

Still he forgot himself in his interest for his people. In the presence of the multitude Moses, in the name of God, addressed to his successor these words of holy cheer: “Be strong and of a good courage: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them: and I will be with thee.” He then turned to the elders and officers of the people, giving them a solemn charge to obey faithfully the instructions he had communicated to them from God. EP 333.2

As the people gazed upon the aged man so soon to be taken from them, they recalled with new appreciation his parental tenderness, his wise counsels, and his untiring labors. They bitterly remembered that their own perversity had provoked Moses to the sin for which he must die. EP 333.3

God would lead them to feel that they were not to make the life of their future leader as trying as they had made that of Moses. God speaks to His people in blessings bestowed, and when these are not appreciated, He speaks to them in blessings removed. EP 333.4

That very day there came to Moses the command, “Get thee up ... unto Mount Nebo, ... and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession: and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people.” Moses was now to depart on a new and mysterious errand. He must go forth to resign his life into the hands of his Creator. He knew that he was to die alone; no earthly friend would be permitted to minister to him in his last hours. There was a mystery and awfulness about the scene from which his heart shrank. The severest trial was his separation from the people with whom his life had so long been united. But with unquestioning faith he committed himself and his people to God's love and mercy. EP 334.1