Moses, at 120 years old, eyes undimmed and vigor unabated (Deuteronomy 34:7), climbs Mount Nebo to view the Promised Land. He led the people to the threshold, but he will not go in. The Lord said to him, "This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, 'I will give it to your offspring.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there" (Deuteronomy 34:4). Paging back to Numbers 20 reminds us why. Moses struck the rock at Maribah instead of speaking to the rock as God instructed him. Because of this, "because you did not believe in me," God said, "you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them." After leading the children of Israel for 80 years, Moses does not get to put his feet up and rest in victory. Doesn't seem fair.
God may have been doing Moses a favor. The kind of guy Moses was, it is unlikely he would be well-suited for retirement. How many times do people, vibrant and vigorous all of their lives, retire and quickly waste away? The journey gave Moses purpose. It was time for him to begin a different adventure.
Also, there were new challenges ahead for the Israelites, challenges that required a change in leadership. Moses's mission was the quest, not the conquest, and that is another reason God kept Moses from entering Canaan. The people needed a shepherd to guide them to the Land. That was Moses. Now they need a warrior to take the Land. At 120 years old, even with all his vigor, it's not Moses. Coach Joe Gibbs, who guided the Washington Redskins to three Super Bowl titles, said one of his most difficult, but most important tasks was telling star players who were now past their prime that it was time to leave the game.
A younger Joshua would take the Land. Moses needed to leave the game, pass the torch, so all eyes would look to Joshua.
Wonderful God, Savior, King, thank You for Your grace. Thank You for salvation. Thank You for life everlasting, joy overflowing, grace overwhelming, peace beyond understanding.
You came to seek and to save the lost. I was lost. You showed me Your love and there was no resisting it. I have been set free to serve the Almighty God. What a wonderful life.