For forty years, Moses had been bogged down in the nitty-gritty of leading God’s people. Every day he had to decide whether to stay put or pick up stakes and move on. When they entered new territory, he had to find out whether its inhabitants were friendly or hostile and take appropriate action. He had to punish wrongdoers and settle disputes. By the end of his life, Moses was understandably weary.
God knew that a long struggle lay ahead before his people would be able to take full possession of the Promised Land. So he chose Moses’ faithful lieutenant, Joshua, to be their leader in that struggle. He also decreed that Moses would not be permitted to enter that land. It’s not clear from Scripture whether this was a punishment or an act of mercy. Most commentators see it as a punishment for Moses’ one act of disobedience at Kadesh (Numbers 20:6-12). But perhaps it was an act of mercy: Moses had seen enough battles and struggles, and now it was time for him to rest and receive his reward.
Whatever the case, out of love for Moses, God showed him the whole spread of the land that his chosen people would eventually inhabit. Moses delighted in its mountains and valleys, rivers and deserts, lush vegetation and wilderness.
Like Moses, we can easily get bogged down in the details of daily living. Today’s tasks, relationships, and challenges have the power to make us weary. That’s why we need to ask God to help us see the bigger picture every now and then. From the very beginning, God has been at work in the world, caring for his people, offering us salvation, and building a Church that reflects his kingdom. With such a big picture, how can we help but marvel at what the future holds? God will be with us always; and he is determined to bring us all into his promised land.