I must admit, I’m kind of sad to reach the end of Deuteronomy. The closer I got to the end…the closer to the death of Moses. I have become very fond of Moses…what an exciting life he lived. As a baby, he taught me about the protection of God. As a young man, he taught me that God can use anyone regardless of their abilities. Through his journey in the wilderness, he taught me about the patience of God, the holiness of God, the forgiveness of God and the consequences of sin. In his death? In his death, I was allowed a glimpse into a relationship like no other…
The Lord showed him all the land…(verse 1)…The Lord allowed Moses to see the Promised Land, even though he was not going to be allowed to enter it. To me, this speaks to the depth of the relationship Moses had with the Lord. He had sinned and sin always has consequences. The consequence of Moses’ sin was that he would not be allowed to cross over into the land which had been promised to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, up on top of the mountain, God allowed Moses to glimpse the Promised Land. Though I am certain it was a beautiful sight…it surely dimmed in comparison to the beauty Moses found himself in moments later.
Then…I read this verse:
And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day. – Deuteronomy 34:6
I could, without a doubt, camp on this verse for awhile. I remember the first time I grasped what this was saying…I was just captivated. There are only two people on top of the mountain when Moses dies…God and Moses. We are told in verse 5 that Moses dies. Then, in verse 6, we are told that “He (capital ‘H’) buried him” (lowercase ‘h’.)
I pondered this for awhile and I remember thinking “He who?” Who buried Moses? God Himself? Wow. In all my years of attending church…I had never heard anyone mention this. Never had it come up in any sermon or Sunday School lesson. How could I have not known this? You have to remember that Moses died on the mountain and we are told that he was buried in the valley. So, God took His beloved servant in His arms…carried him down the mountain…and, with His own hands, buried him in a place that is not known to this very day.
I don’t know if their relationship can be fully understood. He was, after all, still God. Yet…“The Lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend.” They were friends and one of them had died. I am not certain of the details regarding the burial. In Jude, it is mentioned that the archangel Michael and Satan were in a dispute regarding the details of the burial. One commentary I read suggested that Satan wanted the grave location to be known to the Israelites so that they would be tempted to worship Moses. Obviously, Satan did not win that argument since the tomb location still remains a mystery. The details may never be known. What is known, however, is that the Lord loved Moses and was personally involved in his burial. The Lord carried Moses through the valley…
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me…Psalm 23:4