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  • Writer's pictureVicar Matt Doebler

Matins Devotional: November 1, 2022

Deuteronomy 34

In the concluding chapter to Deuteronomy, which is the final chapter of the entire Torah—the five books of Moses—we are given an account of Moses’ death and burial. Here, God commands his great law-giver to ascend to the top of Mount Nebo where he gives him once final look at the promised land that Israel was about to inherit. There, at the precipice of the promise, Moses dies and the Lord buries him. Although Moses had lived 120 years, the text tells us that the natural effects of aging were not the cause of his death. His eyesight had not dimmed, nor had the strength of his body failed him. No, it was the Lord himself who had ordained that Moses’ superintendence over his people had come to an end. Moses would not be the one to go before Israel as they journeyed into the land of promise. That role belonged to Joshua, whose name means, “YHWH saves.”

There is a beautiful picture here of the scene that would in the future be enacted on top of another mountain—Mount Calvary. There, the law stood—its natural powers unabated—exerting the full force of God’s demands and exacting the full penalty for man’s disobedience. There, as Christ was hung on a tree of wood, the ministry of the Law was once again permitted to gaze on the promises that it could never fulfill. There, God ordained that the Law’s superintendence over his people had come to an end. There, God took the Law and held it under the fountain of blood that poured from the veins of his only Son—held it there until it was buried in in that life-giving stream. There, God’s servant Jeshua—Jesus—was found worthy to do what the Law could never do—to lead God’s people into the promises of life, salvation, and the forgiveness of sins.

This is still true for us today. Through the name of Jesus, YHWH has saved his people from their sins.

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