Why didn't Moses
enter the Promised Land?
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Question: Why did Moses NOT enter the Promised Land of Canaan with the children of Israel?
Answer: Since before the Exodus the Israelites had a tendency to whine and complain about a whole host of things - including their leaders. Sometime after leaving Egyptian slavery they had a dire need for water. Instead of asking and having faith in God, they turned to complaining against their human leaders - Moses and Aaron.
1. Then the children of Israel came, the whole congregation, into the wilderness of Zin in the first month. And the people stayed in Kadesh.
3. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying, "Oh that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4. And why have you brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, so that we and our livestock should die there? 5. And why have you made us to come up out of Egypt to bring us into this evil place? It is not a place of seed or of figs or of vines or of pomegranates. And there is no water to drink." (Numbers 20:1, 3-5, Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version (HBFV))
What was the solution to the problem of NO water for the people, cattle, etc. in the desert wilderness of Zin?
"So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.' . . .
"And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, 'Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?' Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank." (Numbers 20:6-11, NKJV)
In verse 12 we find God leaves no doubt as to why his chosen two leaders didn't go into the land of milk and honey promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me [proclaim my name holy] in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.' " (Numbers 20:12)
Aaron died, as God said in verses 12 and 24, for his part in the rebellion at the rock of Meribah. He died on Mount Hor (Numbers 20:25-28), which is thought to have been directly south of Jerusalem. God allowed Moses to die at Mount Nebo, which is located directly east of Jerusalem, so that he could view the broad panorama of what God would give the Israelites.
"And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. Then the Lord said to him, 'This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.' (Deuteronomy 34:2-5)
It is interesting to note that Mount Nebo is at a higher elevation than Mount Hor, thus providing a more spectacular view of what God promised the Israelites as an inheritance. Thank you for submitting your question about Moses.
Written by: Les Turvey