Deuteronomy 34 (English Standard Version)
The Death of Moses
Question: What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I, with body and soul, both in life and death,
am not my own,
but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ;
who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied all my sins,
and delivered me from all the power of the devil;
and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father,
not a hair can fall from my head;
yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation,
and therefore, by his Holy Spirit,
He also assures me of eternal life,
and makes me sincerely willing and ready,
henceforth, to live unto him.
Q/A 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism, 1563
1Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”
5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD, 6and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows the place of his burial to this day.
Psalm 49:15 (New International Version)
But God will redeem my life from the grave;
he will surely take me to himself.
“And when she (the Church) buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.”
–John Donne, Meditation XVII
7 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. 8And the people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
Hebrews 3:1-6 (New International Version)
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
9And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11none like him for all the signs and the wonders that the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, 12and for all the mighty power and all the great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
quoted in The New Gold Standard, by Joseph A. Michelli
Moses was “Going Home.” The tune is from Dvorak, sung by Libera.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
monument on Mt. Nebo. http://student-sites.net/xhtml_projects/LoriA/Images/MtNebo3.jpg
Life and Death. http://lifeanddeath.baduk.org/media/box.jpg
Christ Church Cemetery, Philadelphia. http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/usstates/pennsylvaniaphotos/philly/christchurch.jpg