“These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain over against the Red Sea, between Paran, and Tophel, and Laban, and Hazeroth, and Dizahab” (Deuteronomy 1:1).
The scene was the assembly of the Israelites camped on the plains of Moab, giving attention to their leader of more than 40 years, Moses. The nation was now ready to enter Canaan, the land which God had promised them long ago.
Moses had come a long way in his speaking abilities from that first encounter with God: “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (Exodus 4:10). To which the Lord rebuked Moses: “Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?,” (Exodus 4:11). At first the Lord accepted a middle man: “Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. . . . And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do” (Exodus 4:14,15).
Now, at the end of Moses’ life (without help from Aaron), but at the beginning of the fulfilled inheritance, Moses gives that fatherly message, quoting God, Himself: “Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: . . . Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them” (Deuteronomy 1:6,8).
We also have a promised inheritance in the Lord—the one He wants us to possess—the one He is able to deliver to us. Moses’ persuasive speech to us today is just as convicting, challenging, and expectant. We can, like the Israelites, “Go in and possess the land” (v.8). KBC