Deuteronomy 34 Easy-to-Read Version
Moses climbed Mount Nebo. Moses went from the Jordan Valley in Moab to the top of Mount Pisgah. This was across the Jordan River from Jericho. The Lord showed Moses all the land from Gilead to Dan. He showed him all the land of Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh. He showed him all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea. He showed Moses the Negev and the valley that goes from Zoar to Jericho, the city of palm trees. The Lord said to Moses, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I said to them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants. I have let you see the land, but you cannot go there.’”
Ezekiel 20:5-6 The Message
“‘On the day I chose Israel, I revealed myself to them in the country of Egypt, raising my hand in a solemn oath to the people of Jacob, in which I said, “I am God, your personal God.” On the same day that I raised my hand in the solemn oath, I promised them that I would take them out of the country of Egypt and bring them into a country that I had searched out just for them, a country flowing with milk and honey, a jewel of a country.”
This is the view from Mt. Nebo … a land flowing with milk and honey?
Desolate, dry, rocky, barren land, for as far as eyes can see.
Lays in waste.
Littered with trash.
Flies have found their promised land.
Everyday people, workers, families, live in poverty.
Some have homes; some have shacks.
To buy a car, you must pay 100% tax; in other words, you pay for the car twice.
Bedouins, nomads of the desert, live in barren land tending sheep and goats. What is there for man or beast to eat?
The Bedouins build make-shift homes of cloth tarps, metal scraps, and whatever else they can find.
We saw children peddling trinkets in Petra, Jordan.
Parents hope their sons and daughters will bring home money for the family.
Children skip school to sell trinkets. Most children are lucky if their parents opt for an education over extra money the children might bring in from peddling.
We stayed in the Rotana Hotel in downtown Amman, Jordan. It is the tall black hotel with the slanted roofline, far away from the poverty-stricken land.
In reflecting upon the sights I witnessed, I can only pray that indeed the land God showed Moses from Mt. Nebo, was a much different vista. God, I know you want only the best for Your children. You do not lie. You speak only truth. You are truth.
My eyes beheld what centuries of neglect, weather erosion, water use and misuse, modern machinery, and years of trash dumped unceremoniously, can do.
I did view the vista; it is vast and spectacular. God, my eyes want to see the promised land from Your perspective. But who can know Your ways?
1 Corinthians 2:11-13 The Message
The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that He not only knows what He’s thinking, but He lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that He is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.
What’s your Promised Land? My roots are in the lower part of South Carolina. My father’s, and my father’s father’s, came from hard work, sweat, and tears, tilling the land, scratching to make a living. The land was indeed richer than what God promised to Moses and his people, but it gave sustenance to me and mine.
Who am I to say what is rich and of worth to another? Hard work, sweat, and tears, from generations past, from my own life, have made me who I am, able to love, show compassion, believe, trust, and have faith in You, Lord.
Had I come from a land flowing with milk and honey, would I have the gifts You would have had me receive? I think not.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for providing for my every need. I thank You for knowing how best to give those gifts. I thank You for the struggles, heartache, and pain, that brought me to this place and time. You alone understand me. You alone know how to teach me in ways my head says are too hard, but my heart says, I’m blessed. May I remember Mount Nebo’s lesson. May I take what’s given to me and join You in the work You would have me accomplish. May I stand looking over the vista of my life and see the milk and honey that not only were promised me, but delivered. Amen
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