Why wasn’t Moses allowed to enter Canaan?

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By BibleAsk Team


God Forbade Moses From Entering Canaan

Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan because there was an incident in which he did not follow God’s instructions. God said to His servant,

Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Numbers 20:8-12

The Disobedience

  1. God’s servant disobeyed a direct command of God. The Lord commanded him to speak to the rock. Instead, he hit the rock with his staff. He overlooked the patience of God in His dealings with the people, which should have been reflected in his own attitude and demeanor.
  2. God’s servant 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?” (verse 10).
  3. God’s servant sinned in front of Israel-  giving a public example of disobedience.
  4. Both 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).

God’s Forgiveness and Mercy

God forgave His servant of his sin as His servant truly repented of it. Nevertheless, God’s servant had to reap the seeds of his sin (Galatians 6:7). God is a righteous Judge (Psalm 7:11). And there is a balance between His mercy and justice. However, the Lord didn’t forget how His faithful servant was faithful to Him prior to this incident. So, in His mercy, He gave him a private resurrection (Jude 9) and took him to Heaven.

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” (Matthew 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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