By Fred Pruitt
Moses had to die on the mountain only seeing the Promised Land from afar. But it was Moses the Intercessor who died only seeing Canaan from afar, not Moses the punished sinner. Moses long before had become nothing but God’s vessel, and had long before entered into the Real Land of Promise.
Having become conscious of it from the day of the burning bush onward, Moses knew no life other than spending and being spent in all that he was, in order to bring forth the people of God. He knew that all he did was in order to deliver God’s people and lead them through the wilderness to the Land of Promise.
Moses’ frustration with the people, which vexed him to unbelief for a moment at the waters of Meribeh (Num 20:2-13), nonetheless worked out in Moses’ overall intercession, not just for those children of Israel who walked in the Sinai desert, but as a far vaster whole-world intercession, that he might forever be a type to every succeeding generation of how the law (justification by human obedience to precepts) makes you an outcast sinner for just one transgression, overshadowing an entire career of godly deeds and works of wonder. The message is loud and clear, in the death of Moses on Mount Nebo, that one transgression keeps you forever out of the land of promise, and there is no one except the Lord Himself who has walked without transgression, and therefore all of us, redeemed or unredeemed, are nevertheless kept out of the land by the law.
His death outside the Land was one more nail in the coffin of the Law, which shouts obedience to precepts while at the same time accusing us of our failure to obey them, and therefore finding us guilty of a capital offense, a sentence we experience in every fiber of our being.
Moses the prophet saw the land afar off, and Moses the sinner left his body on Mount Nebo, outside the land in Moab.
We all stand in the place of Moses the sinner, and in Moses the intercessor. If we are bold enough to need no repentance for ourselves, still our job isn’t done because we all share in the guilt of the world, because we are all of one, and while we may think we have escaped because we have become so righteous, nonetheless we have no righteousness of our own, and share in body and mind and soul the wrenching misunderstanding, restlessness, violence and hatred in the world. We in ignorance participate in it ourselves, trading in its wares, thinking its thoughts. When one member suffers we all suffer. Until sin is gone from the world we all repent because our brothers are ourselves and love does not let us off the hook.
And we are Moses the Intercessor, so that even our vexing and our heartbreak speaks the word of God from the midst of Who we are, and redeems the people. We walk no other course except to be a vessel in weakness. We are commissioned to walk a people across a desert without even a map. Guided only by a “Presence.” To an unknown destination.
Moses the Intercessor offered to become sin, to give up his eternal life, to redeem the people. God didn’t require it of him, but Moses would have done it. Only an intercessor volunteers to be born into hell — fully and finally — with no recourse for escape. Such was our Lord Jesus on Calvary, and now we are that. Not of ourselves, but we have become vessels of Another who have been tied to the horns of the altar and we have no life except that Fire that has entered us in the Spirit of the Lord, and no light except the invisible light of the Spirit Who illuminates each step every day, whether to heaven or to hell.
Every day we don’t know the way, and every day I AM is the way, and He finds us of His own accord and walks in us in the cool of the evening in joy and gladness.
12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.