From God’s word – Moses’s Plea and God’s Instead


By Toni Ford

I was asked recently to share some thoughts on the last nine verses of Deuteronomy chapter three. I thought to myself, “Oh good, only nine verses so I know there can’t be that much to share from just nine verses.” Wow, oh wow, was I wrong! Once I began reading and writing, I ended up with page after page of thoughts and what I consider to be revelations from the Lord.
1. Moses pleaded with the Lord – Deut. 3:23 says, “At that time I pleaded with the Lord…” Moses and God had a very personal, intimate, relationship and although Moses knew God had told him he would not be able to cross over into the Promised Land as a result of his previous sin, we see here that Moses was still pleading, begging the Lord to let him cross over. This verse reminded me of myself and how I have pleaded with the Lord at time for certain things. It also made me ask myself, “Have I considered changing my request and possibly changing my focus?” Is the Lord asking me to surrender my own request or plea and trust Him for something greater? Maybe my prayer should change and I should asking Him for a new direction as to what His will is for me and until He reveals that direction, I should simply “be still,” or “stay the course and trust Him in the process,” or He could even say, “instead.”
2. “Instead” – This one word in Deut. 3:28 truly spoke to me in my current situation. As much as Moses wanted to cross over into the Promised Land, God said, “Instead commission Joshua and encourage and strengthen him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan.” I wonder if you are facing an “instead” situation? One where you have this dream burning inside of you and yet God says wait a bit longer or He might be saying, you need to surrender, give up that dream for now and move your focus towards something or someone else. God could even be saying as He did to Moses, it is time to pass that dream, that job, that home, on to someone younger who is able to continue in that leadership position better than you at this time. Are you being told your time in this position is over and now it is time for something else “instead?” This can be hard to hear and receive at times however, if we continue reading in the Scriptures, we will see that God saw beyond the current “instead” and He had an even greater “instead” for Moses.
3. God’s instead – Deut 3: 27 says, “But go up to Pisgah Peak, and look over the land in every direction. Take a good look, but you may not cross the Jordan River.” Pisgah Peak is also known as Mt. Nebo which is in the country of Jordan. On my recent trip to Israel, we visited Mt Nebo, and it was my first time to ever visit there. I must say it was my favorite part of the entire trip. As I stood and walked to various sides of that mountain, the tour guide would point out the various nations all around us. Then we came to the side where you could specifically see Israel, the land God was giving the Israelites as the Promised Land! What a beautiful sight that was! Scripture also tells us that God buried Moses on that mountain and no man would ever know where Moses is buried. That too was a sobering thought. God in His mercy and grace took Moses up to Mt Nebo and let him look out and see this special Promised Land that Moses had led the Israelites towards for the past forty years. I believe with all my heart that at that moment, God gave Moses supernatural eyes to see way beyond what the human eye can see. As I stood on Mt Nebo, I was imagining the conversation, the tears, the laughter, Moses, and God were having together. What a beautiful picture that is to me. God allowed Moses to see that his work was finished and at the same time to see the faithfulness of God – He had set the Israelites free from Egypt and fulfilled His promise to lead them to a better land!
God had another “instead” and this one was even greater. In Mark 9: 2-8 we read about the Transfiguration of Jesus. The Scripture tells us Jesus took three of His disciples, Peter, James, and John with Him to a high mountain and there He was transfigured before them. Mark 9:3-4 says, “His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.” You see this mountain where the transfiguration took place was in the Promised Land, the very land that Moses was not able to enter thousands of years earlier with the Israelites, he is now standing in the Promised Land with Jesus in spirit form! In essence, God did keep His promise to Moses when He told him he would enter the Promised Land but when Moses was having this discussion with God in Deuteronomy and pleading with God to let him cross, he had no idea how God would fulfill that promise. Yet God had a better “instead.” God always knows best, He is always fighting for us, and He always wants to bless us more than we could ever think or imagine. Our job – keep our eyes on Him, stay the course, remain faithful and trust – even when it makes no sense.

If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at I would love to pray for you!

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