The obedience and disobedience of Moses
At the rock at Horeb the Lord said “you shall strike the rock, and water will come out” of it, that the people may drink” Moses did so in the sight of the elders, Exodus 17:6.
But Moses fails to follow the Lord’s instructions at another time. The Lord said, “assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water”. Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly.
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” Note Aaron dies on Mount Horeb and is gathered to his people. Numbers 20:8-12; Deuteronomy 34:4.
Because Moses cannot enter the promised land he is allowed to go up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land that had been promised. He could see it with his eyes, but could not go over.
Moses the servant of the Lord died and was buried in the valley in the land of Moab. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eyes were not dim, nor his vigor abated, Deuteronomy 34. Joshua is commissioned by Moses to bring the sons of Israel into the promised land, because Moses was not allowed too. Deuteronomy 31:23.
The constant complaining and disobedience of the Israelites is noted here. The sons of Israel cried out to the Lord after Pharaoh’s army drew near, “it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness”, Exodus 14:10-12.
“for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this hole assembly with hunger.”
“Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.”
“And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people,”
The whole congregation complained, Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Numbers 14:2.
Here in Deuteronomy 31:16-20 the Lord predicts the Israelites will fall away from the Lords commandments and turn to other gods.
- 16 “This people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant” which I have made with them.
- 17 “Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they shall be consumed, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day, Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?
- 18 “But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods”.
- 19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.
- 20 “For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant.