The Spiritual Eye Of Moses
During the Exodus, Moses was called to lead the Israelite into the promise land. While they were at the water of Meribah, the Lord instructed Moses to speak to the rock in order to bring forth water. Numbers 20:11 “But Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod.” Because of one-acts of disobedient, the whole Israelite was not allowed to enter into the promised land. And this includes Moses himself.
According to the Jewish point of view, Moses pleaded with the Lord in 515 different ways to be given an exemption for his sin (from the gematria number of the word vaetchanan). But the Lord refuses each time to let Moses enter. He was only given the opportunity to see the promised land from the top of Mount Nebo (also called Pisgah, meaning to pass between) Deuteronomy 34:4.
Near the end of Moses life at 120 years old, the Bible describes that his eyes were not dim nor his strength gone. Other versions describe that his eyes were not weak. Spiritually speaking, we are looking here at the spiritual sight and eyes of Moses who had personally met God face to face, having the eyes of faith and looking into the eternal. Who had seen the future of Israelite and the coming of the promised land.
We know that sometimes it may sound unfair for God not to let Moses enter into the land. After all that he had done; by delivering the people from Pharaoh, the plague, crossing the red sea, building the tabernacle, leading the people through the wilderness and performing the various miracle.
But I truly believe that Moses, even though he is not in the promised land, but his lifestyle, believe, character are like one who is already living in the promised land.
A Glimpse Into Eternal Hope
Now, here’s an interesting part, we know that Moses’ eyes were not dim and that the Lord Himself buried him on Mount Nebo. Let’s fast forward to about 1,500 years later. We arrive at the time of Jesus and his disciples. In the story of Matthew 17, Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother up to the mountain. There, Jesus was transfigured and behold, Moses and Elijah appeared.
Imagine Moses, standing there and astounded as he gives praise to the Lord. I wonder what Jesus might have said. “Moses, look around you and see the ground where you are standing, this is the promised land to which you’ve so eagerly anticipated. And now you’ve come to witness the future glory of Israel”. Perhaps this is also the intent of God and by His love, to let him see the future land of Israel many generations later.
The next verse describes that they were talking and I wonder what they might be chatting about. Perhaps something like this;
Jesus: “Moses, do you know why God is angry when you strike the rock twice? The rock which provides the living water is a foretelling of Messiah the rock who gives water to the thirsty. Prophetically, this was intended as a picture of Him who would be stricken for the people (Isa 53:4 and 1 Cor. 10:4). The Second striking of the Rock suggests that the Messiah would need to be struck a second time (or to die twice) in order to provide the needs of the people. This is the reason why you were not permitted to enter the land.”
Moses: “O Lord, have I’ve known this, I would have fully followed your instructions.”
Jesus: “Moses, during the war against the Amalek and you were on top of the hill, every time you held your hands up, Joshua and Israel prevail. But when you let your hand down, Amalek prevailed. But one day Christ would be hang on the cross with an outstretched arm to save his people once and for all. And Moses, there’s still the stories of the manna, the tabernacle, the tablet of stone and more. Every act of your life is a foreshadowing of the coming Christ.”
Sometimes we may not be able to fully comprehend God’s way. But know this, He is not bound by time nor it’s limitation, and this makes our faith and hope in Him to be eternal. The Hebrew word for hope is “yachal” (יחל), meaning to trust in, wait for, look for, and it’s a continuous act of waiting with hope.
You see, our faith should not be limited by the length of our lifetime, because He existed outside of time. Just as our forefather Abraham, who foresaw what the Israelite would go through 400 years in Egypt later after his time. And also Moses who foresaw that the people would sin against God after he is long gone. Hope is a continuous believing, even when you’re no longer here on earth, you will still be interceding and hoping, who knows for the next 10 generations, or 200 years of what God is doing down your generation.
Learning to see, and seeing the eternal is what builds on our faith. Like the eye of Moses, the depth of your faith can be measured by how far you see. So, what are you seeing today? And how far can you see?
I would like to close with a prayer from the apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:17-18. That the eyes of your heart will be open to see and to know Him.
“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Amen.”
C.S. Lewis Quotes on Hoping For Something More
“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.
“At present, we are on the outside… the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of the morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the pleasures we see. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get “in”… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.
We do not want to merely “see” beauty–though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.