Summary: What we do for God and others outlives us.
Title: How to Outlive Your Life (Part One of Two)
Text: Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Thesis: What we do for God and others outlives us.
Have you ever wondered whatever happened to someone? If you happened to have grown up in a small community and stayed there all your life and attended every high school reunion you likely have kept track of a lot of people from your past. But most of us lose track of people and occasionally their memory comes to mind and we wonder, “Whatever happened to old Whitey?”
In addition to all the social networks available to us you can find out whatever happened to someone on the web at www.weht.net.
Billy Carter was among the top ten listed this week. You remember Billy… he was the younger brother of President Jimmy Carter. If you’ve ever lain awake at night wonder whatever happened to Billy Carter you can now find out at www.weht.net.
Billy lost a mayoral race for that office in Plaines, GA in 1976, where he operated a service station. In 1977, hoping to capitalize off of his reputation as a beer drinker he launched Billy Beer which did not turn out so well. He later had to sell his house to pay the IRS for back taxes over that deal. Then in 1978 he got all embroiled in Billy Gate which resulted in Senate Hearings for his having visited Lybia. He was apparently implicated in an influence peddling scandal on that trip. He got sober in 1988 and died later that year of pancreatic cancer.
His son, Buddy Carter has written a biography of his life, Billy Carter: A Journey through the Shadows. (And now you know…)
Whatever happened to Spanky and Alfalfa and Buckwheat of The Little Rascals? Whatever happened to ole Monty Newton? As with all “whatever happened to” stories, some have lived rich a rewarding lives and others… not so much.
This morning our text could be one of those “whatever happened to” stories about the Old Testament bible character, Moses.
I. Have hope for the future of others.
The Lord said, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” Deuteronomy 34:1-4
This past Wednesday night the children in Kids Klub learned the story of Moses’ beginnings… of being set afloat in a wicker basket in the Nile River to escape the genocide of Israelite baby boys under the age of two. The children heard the story of his being rescued by the Pharaoh’s daughter and of how his sister, Miriam, told Pharaoh’s daughter that she could find her an Israelite wet-nurse to care for baby Moses and then of how his own mother raised him in Pharaoh’s palace? Whatever happened to Moses?
If we use Moses as a good example of how we may be remembered, what can we learn from his life that might be instructive and helpful to us? When we look back over Moses’ life and ask, “Whatever happened to Moses?” what can we learn that is transferable from his experience to our experience?
Moses looked and lived beyond himself. Moses had a long view of life that embraced and blessed future generations even though he would not personally experience it.
At the end of the forty years of wilderness wandering and just prior to the Israelites moving into the Promised Land, Moses, though a very old man weighing in at 120 years, climbed Mt. Nebo. From the top of Mt. Nebo he could see the land God had promised to the Children of Israel way “back in the days” of Abraham.
Here in Colorado we are familiar with The Four Corners Monument which marks the quadripoint in southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet. It also serves as the boundary between the Navaho and Ute Nations. Despite the claim that the actual Four Corners is located between 2.3 and 3.0 miles to the west… most recently surveyors in 2009 claim the monument is 1,807 feet east of where modern day surveyors would place it. At any rate we go with the original 1875 survey. So officially, you can actually plant one foot in Utah, one foot in Colorado – stoop over and plant one hand in Arizona and the other in New Mexico and be in all four states simultaneously.
From that little “X Marks the Spot” place tourists can get a 360 degree panoramic view of vast expanses of the states of Utah to the northwest and Colorado to the northeast and the states of New Mexico and Arizona to the southeast and southwest.
Those original surveyors looked out over an expanse of land that would be inhabited by others... their platting marked the places others from generations to come would live.