Why could Moses NOT
enter the Promised Land?
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Question: Why could Moses NOT enter the Promised Land after wandering the desert for forty years?
Answer: Moses and Aaron had many times been the object of criticism from the children of Israel. Now, with no water to be found in the desert, they again became the target of complaints:
"Then the children of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin . . . Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: 'If only we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.' " (Numbers 20:1-5, NKJV throughout)
Verses 6-11 of Numbers 20 continues the story from the appearance of God's glory to them to Moses crediting himself and Aaron for the miraculous appearing of water:
"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)
In verse 12 we find God leaves no doubt as to why his chosen two leaders did not go into the land promised to Abraham, Issac 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 the land before his death:
"Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. 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.'
"So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day." (Deuteronomy 34:1-6)
It is interesting to note that Mount Nebo is at a higher elevation than Mount Hor, thus providing a more spectacular view of the promised land.
Thank you for submitting your question about why could Moses did NOT enter the Promised Land.
Written by: Les Turvey