Summary: Vision, Faithfulness, Purpose
Deuteronomy 34:1-8 (p. 146) March 9, 2014
I have helped write a few obituaries in my life, and probably like you have read hundreds if not thousands of them.
Every single obituary tells you a lot about the person it’s written about, whether it’s just a few words or 8 paragraphs. I’ve read obituaries written by the person themselves, but most of the time the obituary is written by their mate, one of their children, or a combination of the two.
Webster defines “obituary” in this way: “a notice of a person’s death usually with a short biographical account.” It comes from the Latin “obitus” which means “death.”
I thought of this series several months ago after reading an obituary that described all the worldly stuff the individual who died really enjoyed, but there was absolutely no spiritual emphasis, no real importance placed on their relationship with God.
And you might say, “Yeah Rick, but that was written by their family, not them.”
And I would say, “Right!!! But who knows you best...and if you want to influence someone with your life....who do you want to influence most?”
I don’t want Kari, or my family to write...”He loved to go hunting...and his favorite car was a Plymouth Duster...340. He enjoyed fried chicken and his favorite TV channels were “The History Channel and Velocity.”
The last words written about me...or spoken about me...and you...are very important.
Illustration [I remember the story of the 3 old men that had a discussion about the last words they wanted to have spoken about themselves: The 1st gentleman said, “I want people to say I was a good husband and father, that I provided for my family.” The 2nd gentleman said, “I want people to say He was a man of integrity...His word was his bond.” And the 3rd gentleman said....”At my funeral the last words I’d want to have spoken are...”LOOK HE’S STILL BREATHING!”]
Those words are important, LOL! The last words I’d want said about me are “He loved Jesus Christ with all His heart...He treated his wife and family like Christ would have treated them. He loved people and had a burden for those who were lost.”
Wayne Smith used to often end his messages with his saying, “Only one life and soon it’s passed, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
So I’d like you to consider your life and the obituary that’s being written about you, because you’re past doesn’t have to define you future, even if there is not much of that future left...and for those who think it doesn’t matter now, please know life is like a “vapor” on a cool winter’s day, like a flower that blooms and it’s quickly gone. Before you know it...your obituary will be written.
Here’s the lessons we can learn from Moses’ obituary in Deuteronomy 34.
I. MAKE SURE YOU DIE BEING ABLE TO SEE THE PROMISED LAND
DEUTERONOMY 34:1-5 (p. 146)
Folks when we look at scripture there are only a few people who got a glimpse into heaven, or paradise. John the Revelator was certainly shown portions of it. The Apostle Paul was “caught up into paradise and witnessed things he was not permitted to tell.” (2 Cor. 12:4).
Moses even got to witness the fading glory of God as He passed by and God hid him in the cleft of the rock. (Ex. 33:22)
Scripture teaches that the O.T. and it’s stories are an illustration of the reality of the N.T. or New Covenant in Christ. The O.T. is the shadow. Jesus is the real person that is introduced by the shadow. (Heb.10:1)
So in Moses we see a deliverer that leads his people out of slavery into or to the Promised Land. A shadow foretelling Christ’s delivering out of sin.
You know his story, rescued from the bushes and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, yet he refutes the palace, even murdering an Egyptian that was beating one of his people. He has to escape into the desert, becomes a shepherd and encounters God in a burning bush on Mt. Sinai. God sends him and his brother Aaron to challenge Pharaoh to let the Israelites go. 10 plagues later, culminating with the “Passover” and the death of Egypt’s firstborn, Pharaoh relents, lets them go, but then changes his mind...chasing them to the Red Sea. When God divides it for the Israelites escape, and then brings it down on the Egyptians...death is punishment.
Moses leads the Israelites to Mt. Sinai. God gives his commands. The Israelites worship a golden calf, and instead of a direct route to Canaan, they are punished to wander in the desert for 40 years. Why, because when they are at the edge of the Promised Land they doubt God’s power. The spies report it’s too hard and the people are too big, all of them except Joshua and Caleb.