In “preview at Pisgah” Jefferson Vann explains why Moses was able to see the promised land, but not allowed to enter it.
Deuteronomy 34:1-4 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 34:1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which faces Jericho, and Yahveh showed him all the land: Gilead as far as Dan,
Deuteronomy 34:2 all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea,
Deuteronomy 34:3 the Negev, and the plain in the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar.
Deuteronomy 34:4 Yahveh then spoke to him, and this is what he said: “This is the land I promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross into it.”
preview at Pisgah
Moses spent the last third of his life aiming for the promised land, and he reached its border. He was able to see it from atop Pisgah, but he was not able to enter it. Was his life a failure? Certainly not. In many ways, our lives mirror Moses. The best we can hope for is getting closer to God during this life. We never reach our ultimate destination. Like the sacred ones mentioned by the author of Hebrews, we die in faith “without receiving the things promised” (Hebrews 11:13).
Many believe that they will reach the promised land at death, but the Bible teaches that we will all reach it together when our Lord comes back to earth. Like Moses, we can reach the border just before we die, but that only means we can have the blessing of seeing our permanent destiny, but until Christ returns, none of us will enter it. God’s plan is that we will all be “made perfect together” (Hebrews 11:40).
Lord, give us the faith to reach our Pisgah in this life, and to trust you for the resurrection to follow.