Why did God not allow Moses to enter the promised land?

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Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land because there was an incident in which he did not follow God’s instructions. Let us read the passage in Numbers:

The Lord commanded Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink. So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as He commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, ‘Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?’ Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” (Numbers 20:8-12).

What was the sin of Moses?
  1. Moses disobeyed a direct command of God. The Lord commanded him to speak to the rock. Instead, Moses hit the rock with his staff. Moses overlooked the patience of God in His dealings with the people, which should have been reflected in his own attitude and demeanor.
  2. Moses took the credit of the miracle for himself instead of attributing it to God when he said, “Must we [referring to Moses and Aaron] bring you water out of this rock?” (V. 10).
  3. Moses sinned in front of Israel-  giving a public example of disobedience.
  4. Moses and Aaron lacked trust in God which is reflected in the fact that God pointed it out to them: “Because you did not trust in me enough…” (Numbers 20:12). Their punishment was that they would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 20:12).

But, the Lord didn’t forget how Moses was faithful to Him prior to this incident. So, in His mercy, He gave Moses a private resurrection (Jude 9) and took him to Heaven.

And later on, Moses appeared to Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration with Elijah (who was taken alive to heaven – 2 kings 2:11). “And (Christ) was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him” (Matt. 17:2, 3).

In this story, we see both the justice and the mercy of God in dealing with His children.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


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