Peter Barnes: Deuteronomy 34:1-p12, Hebrew 3:1-6 (26 January 2020)
Hebrews 9:27 states what we all know to be true, that ‘it is appointed for man to die once’. It is true for all of us: ‘The sands of time are sinking’.
1. Moses dies knowing something greater is coming.
– 34:1-4. Then Moses dies.
The Old Testament saints were aware of something greater than the Promised Land of Canaan – Heb.11:13-16. Moses saw a picture of a heavenly kingdom. Simeon saw the Christ child, and saw salvation – Luke 2:29-32. John saw something very wonderful – Rev.4:1-8.
2. Moses appreciated and obscure.
– 34:5-6. In 1564 as Calvin was dying, he asked to be buried in an unmarked grave. Charles Haddon Spurgeon just wanted CHS on his grave. In 1842 Augustine’s elbow was transferred as a relic from Pavia in northern Italy to Annaba in Algeria.
– Israel grieved at his passing – 34:7-8. When Calvin’s wife died in 1549, Calvin wrote to his friend, Guillaume Farel:
Intelligence of my wife’s death has perhaps reached you before now. I do what I can to keep myself from being overwhelmed with grief. My friends also leave nothing undone that may administer relief to my mental suffering
Yet amongst the last words she spoke were: ‘O glorious resurrection!’
3. The kingdom of God goes on.
– 34:10-12. Yet the work goes on – 34:9; see Num.27:18, 22-23; 2 Tim.2:2. Nicolas Berdyaev (1874-1948): ‘The tragi-comedy of history goes on for ever in unremitting, perpetual recurrence. The Kingdom of God alone transcends and overcomes this spell-bound course.’