The Open Door of Death & the Invitation to Move Forward

Today’s selected reading is found in the Old Testament book of Joshua who was chosen to succeed Moses the servant of the LORD and lead the children of Israel into the land of promise. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first three chapters of this Old Testament book. As you come to the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find that the main and underlying context for the entire book is centered upon the reality that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and the congregation of the children of Israel were still encamped in the plains of Moab on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. In order to truly understand that which is written and recorded in the Old Testament book of Joshua it is absolutely necessary to recognize that it opens up during and with a powerful period of transition which took place in the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel as they were left in the plains of Moab with the promise of the LORD to bring them across the Jordan River and into the land of Canaan which He swore unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Old Testament book of Joshua begins with the words “Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister,” thus indicating that what we would read in the chapters and pages thereafter would follow the death of Moses the servant of the LORD—that one whom the LORD spoke with face to face a man would speak unto a friend. What’s more, is that if you read the opening verse of the opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find it being that after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD He would begin speaking unto Joshua who was the minister and attendant of Moses during the forty years he taught and instructed the congregation of the children of Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness. Even more than this is the fact that when you come to the second verse of this Old Testament book you will find the LORD speaking directly unto Joshua and beginning to speak unto him with the following words: “Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of israel” (Joshua 1:2). It’s worth noting and pointing out how the Old Testament book of Joshua begins and opens up, for it begins with a tremendous period of transition which took place in the narrative of the children of Israel as they would depart from the plains of Moab on the eastern edge of the Jordan, and as they would cross the Jordan River and enter into the land of Canaan which the LORD promised and swore unto them they would enter in as His peculiar people and as His possession. In all reality, the Old Testament book of Joshua is a wonderful and remarkable narrative and account of transition, and the people’s response to transition within their lives.

When you begin reading the opening two verses of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find that after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD would begin speaking directly unto Joshua who would lead the congregation of the children of Israel into the land which He swore unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The question that I can’t help but wonder is whether or not Joshua—or anyone else among the congregation of the children of Israel for that matter—knew that Moses the servant of the LORD had died, and that they were left in the plains of Moab with only one thing for certain. The congregation of the children of Israel remained in the plains of Moab after the death of Moses knowing of a certain that they were destined to cross over the Jordan River, and that they were to enter into the land which was before them—that land which flowed with milk and honey, and that land which would be given unto them as a possession and inheritance. The entire congregation of the children of Israel remained on the eastern edge of the Jordan River knowing that the LORD was calling them beyond the plains of Moab, through and over the waters of the Jordan, and into the land of Canaan which He promised unto them. If there was one thing the entire congregation of the children of Israel knew and understood as they remained there in the plains of Moab, it was that they were destined to pass over the Jordan River and enter into the land of Canaan which was to be their inheritance. With that being said, however, the thirty-fourth and final chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy concludes with the LORD calling Moses His servant up into a mountain in the land of Moab, and it would be there upon and there atop the mountain Moses would see the land into which He would bring the congregation of the children of Israel, for the LORD would show unto him all the land which the children of Israel would inherit and possess. While atop the mountain—while it was true that the LORD would show Moses the entire land of Canaan which was to be the inheritance of the congregation of the children of Israel—Moses would die, and it would be the LORD Himself who would take the body of Moses and bury it. What’s quite interesting about how the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy ends and concludes is that not only did the LORD show Moses the entire land of Canaan into which the children of Israel would enter and take possession of, and not only did the LORD bury the body of Moses, but no one knows the location of the body of Moses. It’s worth noting and pointing out within this chapter that Moses would indeed die and go the way of his fathers, but it would be the LORD who would bury him, and there would be no man who would know the location of his burial and grave. Consider if you will the words which are found in the thirty-fourth and final chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse:

“And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilgal, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel heartened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded ed Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel” (Deuteronomy 34:1-12).

It’s worth noting that the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy ends and concludes with Moses the servant of the LORD dying in the mountain of Nebo, and to the top of Pisgah, which was over against Jericho, and how the LORD took the body of Moses and buried it in a valley in the land of Moab. The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy ends and concludes with Moses the servant of the LORD dying, and the congregation of the children of Israel weeping and mourning for him for thirty days after his death. When and as you read the opening verses of the Old Testament book of Joshua the son of Nun you will find the thirty days of weeping and mourning for Moses the servant of the LORD coming to an end, and you will find the LORD beginning to speak with and unto Joshua concerning the assignment he had been given in the midst of the congregation of the children of Israel. I find it absolutely remarkable how in the thirty-fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy we find all Israel weeping and mourning over the death of Moses for thirty days, and in the Old Testament book of Joshua we find the LORD speaking very clearly unto Joshua the son of Nun and declaring unto Joshua that Moses His servant was dead. What I so love and appreciate about the words which the LORd spoke unto Joshua was not only that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, but also the instruction given unto Joshua to arise from that place in the plains of Moab, and go over the Jordan River with all the people of Israel unto the land which He gave unto them. MOSES IS DEAD, NOW GO! I have to admit that I absolutely love how the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy opens and begins, for it begins with the death of Moses, but directly links the death of Moses to the movement of the congregation of the children of Israel. It is worth noting that the LORD spoke unto Joshua and declared unto him that Moses was dead, and since Moses His servant was dead, the time had come for the congregation of the children of Israel to arise from that place and cross over the Jordan and into the land which He swore unto and was giving unto them. In other words, the LORD was inviting and calling the congregation of the children of Israel out of a place of mourning and into a place of movement, for it would be after and upon the death of Moses that the entire congregation of the children of Israel would move forth over the Jordan River and would enter into the land which the LORD would give unto them as they would conquer, subdue, and take possession of the land.

MOURNING IS OFTENTIMES AN INVITATION TO MOVEMENT! MOURNING IS OFTENTIMES AN INVITATION TO MOVE ON! As I wrote those words I feel compelled to emphatically declare unto you that more often than not it is during those periods of transition where the Lord invites us into a place of movement and into a place of progression within our lives. It would have been very easy for the congregation of the children of Israel—even Joshua himself—to get stuck in their sorrow and grief over the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, and they could have very easily chosen to remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan River in the plains of Moab. They had already conquered and subdued the territory of Og king of Bashan and Sihon king of Heshbon—kings of the Amorites—and Moses had already given this land as an inheritance unto the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. It would have been very easy for the congregation of the children of Israel to remain and abide on the eastern edge of the Jordan River and to make the decision not to cross over the River and enter into the land which the LORD would give unto them. In fact, it might very well be said that had the LORD not appointed and ordained Joshua to lead the people of God after his death, the congregation of the children of Israel might very well have chosen to remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. What I so love about the Old Testament book of Joshua is that even though Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, that wouldn’t negate the promise of the LORD, nor would it negate the word which the LORD had spoken unto the congregation of the children of Israel. It was indeed and it was in fact true that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, however, that did not and would not mean that the promise of the LORD would die with Moses in the plains of Moab, nor would it be buried with Moses in the midst of a valley in the land of Moab. Moses the servant of the LORD was indeed dead, and yet the congregation of the children of Israel were instructed to move on and move forward into the land which the LORD would give unto them—the land which He swore on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It’s absolutely remarkable and amazing to think about and consider the fact that even though Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and even though his body would be buried in the land of Moab, that did not mean the congregation of the children of Israel would remain there in the plains of Moab. In all reality, it’s almost as if the death of Moses was an invitation and a call given by the LORD unto the children of Israel to move forth from the plains of Moab and to pass over the Jordan River and into the land which He had prepared for and promised unto them.

What I so absolutely love about the opening chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua is how it reveals that more often than not it is during those places of loss and those places of mourning and grief when the LORD invites us to enter into new places with Him. If you read the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find that the death of Moses was an invitation and call to once and for all and finally pass over the Jordan River and enter into the land into which He had promised and spoken unto them during the entire forty years they had journeyed through the wilderness. With that being said, it’s worth noting and pointing out that more often than not we see in and through death certain things we could and would not otherwise see in life. If you turn and direct your attention to the sixth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will find it beginning and opening with the prophet speaking of and declaring how Uzziah the king of Judah had died. What’s so intriguing about the words which the prophet Isaiah wrote in this particular chapter is that while it was true that Uzziah the king of Judah had died, there was something that happened in the year that king Uzziah died—something which the prophet perhaps was not expecting, nor even anticipating. If you begin reading with and from the opening verse of the sixth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the following words which were written by the prophet concerning this year in which Uzziah king of Judah died. Consider if you will the following words which are found beginning with the opening verse of this sixth chapter:

“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the KING, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity Is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And He said, Go, and tell this people” (Isaiah 1:1-9).

If you read the words which are found in the sixth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah you will find that in the year king Uzziah died—not only did Isaiah see the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up with his train filling the temple, but the prophet Isaiah also heard the voice of the LORD saying and asking whom He would send, and who would for Him. Upon seeing the glory and majesty and holiness of the living God the prophet Isaiah would respond by proclaiming himself as a man who was undone, for he was a man of unclean lips who dwelt in the midst of an unclean people. It would be in response to hearing the voice of the LORD asking whom He would send the prophet would respond by emphatically declaring that he was available to go, and would ask the LORD to send him. Oh please don’t miss the tremendous significance of what is found within this chapter, for within this chapter we encounter and come face to face with the death of a king in the midst of the southern kingdom of Judah, and in the place of death we find an invitation to go and a call to move forward. Despite the fact the king of Judah was dead, there was a great need for one who would go for and on behalf of the LORD of hosts into the earth. This is actually quite significant, for when you read and consider the words which are found concerning the death of Moses you will find that after and upon the death of Moses there was an invitation to move forward from that place—to move forward from the plains of Moab, and to cross over the Jordan River into the land which the LORD would bring the children of Israel into. Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and the children of Israel would weep and mourn over him for thirty days, however, once those thirty days were over the time had come and the time would come for them to move beyond the plains of Jordan and to enter into the land which the LORD would call and lead them into. Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and the congregation of the children of Israel needed to move on from that place, and needed to fulfill their assignment and purpose in the midst of the earth. What is so absolutely intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that the congregation of the children of Israel would indeed and would in fact receive an inheritance in the midst of the earth, however, that inheritance was and would not be without assignment, without responsibility, and without a work that needed to be done within the inheritance. When we think about the reality of inheritance and how the LORD would bring the children of Israel into the land of Canaan we tend to think of it simply as that which the LORD would lead the children of Israel into and that which the LORD would give unto them, however, we oftentimes forget that there was an assignment, there was a mission, and there was a task that needed to be done in the midst of the inheritance. The inheritance would and could not be everything the LORD their God had intended and created it to be without and apart from them fulfilling the assignment that would be directly connected to the land.

The more I think about and consider the Old Testament book of Joshua the more I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that it is in all reality a book about assignment and responsibility, for it wasn’t simply enough for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan and immediately begin to enjoy and inhabit it. The Old Testament book of Joshua is a book about inheritance and possession, and it is a book about entering into that which the LORD has prepared for us, however, it is a book that is about carrying out that which the LORD our God has instructed us to do and carry out within that which He has prepared for us. This Old Testament book is one that is steeped in the reality of assignment and responsibility, as once the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River and entered into the land that was just the beginning. I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the fact that crossing over the Jordan River was only the start and was only the beginning of that which the LORD had for them in the midst of the land, for once the entire host of the army of Israel had crossed over the Jordan River and the waters returned to their place, the work within the land would begin. I can’t help but think about the fact that once the waters of the Jordan River finally returned to their place there was no returning and no going back to where they were, and the only direction they could go was forward. I have to admit that I absolutely love the fact that the LORD parted the waters of the Jordan River, for while the waters being parted was an invitation to move forward and press on—the waters returning unto their place was a powerful statement and declaration that they could not return to where they had come from. Much like the waters of the Red Sea parting before the congregation of the children of Israel during the days and generation of their father were an invitation to move forward, so also was the parting of the Jordan River an invitation given unto the children of Israel an invitation to move forward and to enter into that which the LORD had for them. When the waters of the Red Sea would return unto their place—not only would it be a sign that the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not return unto the place they had just been delivered, but it was also a powerful work that had been done in destroying their enemies behind them and in the midst of the waters of the Red Sea. When it came to the waters of the Jordan River returning unto their place once the congregation of the children of Israel had crossed over—it would be an indicator that they could not return to the place they had just come, but there would be a fundamental difference between the waters of the Red Sea and the waters of the Jordan River.

If you study the narrative of the parting of the waters of the Red Sea, as well as the narrative of the part of the waters of the Jordan River you will notice one key and fundamental difference between the two experiences the children of Israel had before the Lord their God. In the case of the parting of the waters of the Red Sea the enemy would pursue them unto the place of the Red Sea, and yet it would be the LORD would would destroy and wipe out the horses and chariots of Pharaoh’s army in the midst of the waters of the sea. Once the children of Israel were all passed safely through the waters they would look back upon where they had come from and would notice the countless bodies of the Egyptians lining the shore of the Red Sea after the LORD had completely and utterly destroyed them in the midst of the waters. When, however, you come to the Jordan River you will not find the enemy behind the congregation of the children of Israel pursuing them to overtake them, but you will find the enemies and adversaries before them in the midst of the land into which the LORD their God had brought them. When you come to the Old Testament book of Joshua you will find that when the congregation of the children of Israel entered into the land which the LORD had sworn unto them, and after the waters had not only parted, but also returned unto their place, the enemy would be before them. I find this to be absolutely wonderful and astonishing, for it’s almost as if when the waters returned unto the place the LORD was clearly indicating that the only way for the children of Israel to go was forward. It’s as if the LORD the God of the children of Israel was shutting the door behind them to their time and journey in the wilderness, and even in the midst of land and territory that wasn’t theirs. Of course we know and understand that the land of Sihon king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan the kings of the Amorites would be given unto the two and a half tribes of Israel as an inheritance, however, it is absolutely necessary that we recognize that once the waters of the Jordan River returned unto their original place, the way back to where they had come from was closed, and they could not return to where they had come from. WHEN THE LORD CLOSES THE DOOR ON YOUR PAST! WHEN THE LORD CLOSES THE DOOR BEHIND YOU! WHEN THE LORD SHUTS THE WAY BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM! The waters of the Jordan River returning unto their rightful and ordained place was a clear indicator that the only way for the children of Israel to move was forward, and the only place they could go was further into the land of Canaan. Once they were in the land in which the Hittites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Canaanites and others dwelt in there was absolutely no room, nor was there any place for them to turn back and return to where they had come from.

WHEN MOSES THE SERVANT OF THE LORD IS DEAD! WHEN THE WATERS OF THE JORDAN RETURN TO THEIR PLACE! As I sit here and consider the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Joshua I can’t help but come face to face with the fact that the death of Moses was the invitation and a clarion call of the LORD God of the Hebrews to move forward toward the Jordan River and prepare to enter into the land which the LORD was bringing them. The death of Moses was a clear indicator that the time had come for the congregation of the children of Israel to move beyond the plains of Moab, to cross over the Jordan River, and to enter into the land which the LORD had prepared and given unto them as an inheritance and possession. Even the waters of the Jordan River parting before Joshua and the children of Israel was an invitation to move forward into the land and into that which the LORD had prepared for the congregation of the children of Israel. It is absolutely necessary that we understand how death and parted waters are and were powerful invitations given unto the people of God to depart from where they had been and to begin moving forward and toward that which the LORD had prepared for them. With that being said, it’s important to note that as much as the parting of the waters was an invitation given unto the congregation of the children of Israel to move forward and to enter into that which the LORD had promised and prepared for them—the waters returning unto their original place was an emphatic and powerful declaration given unto the children of Israel that the time had come for them to begin to conquer and subdue the land which was before them. The waters returning unto their original place was a powerful statement given unto the congregation of the children of Israel that there was no going back, and that the only way for them is forward. Oh have you ever reached that point and place within your life? Have you even been brought to the place in your life when there was absolutely no room for retreat, nor was there any room for returning, and the only direction was forward? Have you ever been brought to the place where there is no room, nor is there any place for returning and retreating, but only moving forward into that which the LORD your God has prepared for you? The waters returning unto their original place was a powerful statement and declaration unto the congregation of Israel that there was no going back and there was no turning back, for the only thing for them to do was move forward and to begin to move within and throughout the land that was promised unto them and unto their fathers.

NO ROOM FOR RETREAT! NO ROOM FOR RETURNING! If there is one thing we must learn and recognize when considering the words which are written and recorded within the Old Testament book of Joshua it’s that there was only one direction for the congregation of the children of Israel. After spending forty years wandering through the wilderness, and after spending countless time in the wilderness before finally coming into the plains of Moab, there was only one direction for the congregation of the children of Israel to go—forward and into the land which the LORD had promised unto and prepared for them. The parting of the waters and the death of Moses was the invitation given unto the congregation of the children of Israel to move on from the plains of Moab and to enter into the land which was to be theirs as an inheritance, while the waters returning to their place was a statement made by the LORD their God that He had shut the door to their past, and that He had shut the door to their returning unto the place where they had come from. THERE’S NO RETURNING TO THE LAND OF EGYPT! THERE’S NO RETREATING FROM THE ENEMY! When the waters return unto their original place the LORD your God is emphatically declaring unto you that there is absolutely no room, nor is there any space for you to return unto the land of Egypt, nor returning unto the place of wandering and temptation. When the waters return unto their original place the LORD your God is powerfully speaking unto you that there is no retreating from your enemies, for once the waters have returned to their place—in all honesty, where are you going to retreat to? Once you’re in the land the only way to go is forward, and the only thing for you to do is to take up the sword and fight. Once the congregation of the children of Israel were in the land of Canaan they only had one option—take up the sword and shield and fight, for if they somehow chose not to take up the sword and shield, or if they were fearful of the enemies and adversaries which were in the land they could have very easily been overtaken and defeated in the midst of the land by those they were destined to overthrow, drive out and dispossess. I absolutely love this reality and concept of the waters returning unto their place, For the waters returning unto their place signified an end to their wandering in the wilderness, and a complete break from their past, and from the reproach of the slavery, bondage and oppression from the land of Egypt. What’s more, is that when the waters returned unto their place the congregation of the children of Israel only had one option, and that was to fight, for flight was no longer an option. Their fathers had chosen and would have undoubtedly chosen flight and to flee from before their enemies, however, with the congregation of the children of Israel in the land that was sworn unto them, the option for flight and retreat was no longer an option for them.

The more I think about and the more I consider the words which are found in this Old Testament book of Joshua the more I am directly confronted with the wonderful and powerful invitation the living God gave unto the congregation of the children of Israel to move forward into that which He prepares and planned for them. If you read the opening chapter of this book—specifically the first two verses of the opening chapter—you will find that Moses the servant of the Lord was dead, and after Moses the servant of the Lord was dead, the Lord spoke unto Joshua. In all reality we shouldn’t be surprised by or at the death of Moses, for the death of Moses was necessary for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into that which the Lord had for them. We spend a considerable amount of time talking and speaking about that first generation which rejected the land and the opportunity to rise up and take possession of it, and we speak a great deal about the need for their bodies to fall and perish in the wilderness. We know behind a shadow of a doubt that that first generation needed to fall in the wilderness and that their bodies needed to fall in order for their sons and daughters, and that generation to rise. SOMETIMES IN ORDER TO RISE SOMETHING ELSE NEEDS TO FALL! That first generation which experienced all the signs, wonders and judgments of the living God in the land of Egypt needed to die and their bodies fall in the wilderness that this new generation might rise up and emerge in the earth and take possession of the land before them. What’s more, is that it was not only this generation which needed to die and their bodies fall in the wilderness, for if you read the Old Testament books of Numbers and Deuteronomy you will find that there were two other bodies—two final bodies—which needed to fall. There were two other bodies which needed to perish before the congregation of the children of Israel could truly rise up, enter and take possession of the land. If and as you study scripture you will find that in addition to that first generation dying and perishing in the midst of the wilderness, both Aaron and Moses themselves needed to die. I have written in times past about waiting for that first generation to perish, and to wait for the last body of that generation to fall in the wilderness, and how once that last body would fall the congregation of the children of Israel could rise up, enter and take possession of the land. The truth of the matter is that the congregation of the children of Israel weren’t simply waiting for that first generation to perish in the wilderness, but they were waiting for the deaths of two others before they could enter—the deaths of Moses and Aaron.

If and and you read and study the words which are found in the Old Testament books of numbers and Deuteronomy you will find that the Lord of hosts declared unto both Moses and Aaron that neither of them would and neither of them could enter into the land which was sworn unto their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As you read the words which are found in these books you will find that neither of these two men who had been such an integral part of the journey of the congregation of the children of Israel could enter into the land which the Lord had sworn on oath and promised unto their fathers. Aaron would be the first two die on the eastern edge of the Jordan River, and his body would be buried by the congregation of the children of Israel. THERE REMAINS ONE MORE! THERE IS ONE FINAL SOUL THAG NEEDS TO DIE AND PERISH! The more you read and study the words which are found within these Old Testament books the more you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that it was also necessary for Moses the servant of the Lord to die. So long as Moses remained alive the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not enter into the land which was sworn on oath and given unto them. So long as Moses remained alive the congregation of the children of Israel would remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan River and would remain in the plains of Moab. THE INVITATION OF DEATH! THE OPEN DOOR OF DEATH! DEATH WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING! I can’t help but think about and consider the absolutely tremendous and incredible reality that in order for the congregation of the children of Israel to rise up and enter into that which the Lord their God had for them, Mosses the servant of the Lord needed to die and his body fall. It almost doesn’t seem right, nor does it seem fair that Moses needed to die and that he wouldn’t enter into the land which the Lord would being the children of Israel into. The truth of the matter is that because Moses and Aaron didn’t hallow and sanctify the Lord before the congregation of the children of Israel, and because Moses struck the rock when he was commanded to speak to it, the Lord swore by Himself neither one of them would and neither one of them could enter into the land sworn unto their fathers. It was made very clear to both Moses and Aaron that neither one of them would and could enter into the land of Canaan, and they both of them would die on this side of the Jordan River before the congregation of the children of Israel would enter into the land they’ve Lord would being them into.

WHEN WHAT HAS BROUGHT YOU THIS FAR CANNOT TAKE YOU WHEERE YOU ARE GOING! WHEN WHAT HAS LED YOU THIS FAR CANT LEAD YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE GOING! WHEN WHAT YOU HAVE RELIED ON FOR SO LONG A TIME CANT MIVE FORWARD WITH YOU! It’s absolutely astounding and remarkable to think about and consider the fact that although Moses and Aaron has led the children of Israel, and although Moses and Aaron had spoken unto and taught the congregation of Israel during those forty years in the wilderness, they would and could not enter into the land with them. Although both had been such an integral part of the journey of the congregation of the children of Israel as they would be with them throughout their wilderness journeys, and would even lead them unto the edge of the Jordan River, they would not lead them across the Jordan River, nor would or could they lead them into the land which was sworn unto their fathers. It’s actually quite intriguing to think about the fact that when the congregation of the children of Israel were preparing to enter into the land there were certain things they would and could not bring with them into the land and across the Jordan River. That first generation which emerged from the land of Egypt and whose bodies would fall in the wilderness would and could not cross the Jordan River and enter into the land of Canaan. The manna and bread from heaven which the congregation of the children of Israel relied on those forty years would stop the minute they entered into the land promised unto them as they could not take it with them. What’s more, is that if and as you read the words which are found in the Old Testament books of Numbers and Deuteronomy you will find that neither Moses nor Aaron could enter into the land into which the Lord the God of the Hebrews would enter. For the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into all the Lord had for them, and for the congregation of the children of Israel to rise up and take possession of that which the Lord had for them, it was necessary for Moses and Aaron to die. For the purpose of this writing and to directly connect the book of Deuteronomy to the book of Joshua we must understand and recognize that it was absolutely necessary for Moses the servant of the Lord to die and for his body to perish on this side of the Jordan River. If the congregation of the children of Israel wanted to enter into the land which was sworn unto them it was absolutism the necessary for Moses the servant of the Lord to die and for his body to remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan River. If the congregation of the children of Israel were to enter into that which the Lord their God had for them Moses could not cross the Jordan River, nor could he enter into the land, and his body would need to remain on this side of the Jordan.

MOSES MY SERVANT MUST DIE! MOSES MY SERVANT IS DEAD! As I sit here this morning I can’t help but think about and be drawn to the fact that there was one final body which needed to fall and one final body which needed to die on this side of the Jordan River before the congregation of the children of Israel could enter into the land which was sworn unto them and to their fathers. While it was true that Moses the servant of the LORD had walked with them for the past forty years, and while it was true that Moses the servant of the LORD had taught the congregation of the children of Israel, he would and could not enter into the land with the congregation of the children of Israel. Pause for a moment and think about and consider that reality, for although Moses had been with the congregation of the children of Israel for forty years and had taught them the laws, the ways and the nature of God, he would and could not enter into the land of Canaan with the congregation of the children of Israel. IN order for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan, and in order for them to rise up and take possession of that which the LORD had for them, it was necessary for Moses the servant of the LORD to die and for his body to fall on the eastern side of the Jordan River. It almost doesn’t seem right or fair that such an integral part of the history and narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel was prohibited from entering into the land with them. It almost doesn’t seem right or fair that his body needed to fall on the eastern edge of the Jordan River, however, it was the LORD’s own decree and the Lord’s own doing that would determine that Moses would and could not enter into the land of Canaan. It would be the LORD’s own decree that would determine that Moses would and could not enter into the land of Canaan into which He was bringing the congregation of the children of Israel. For us to understand the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel we must recognize and understand that the congregation of the children of the children of Israel would remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan river—unable to cross over it, and unable to enter into the land which the LORD their God had for them because Moses the servant of the LORD was still alive. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that in order for the congregation of the children of Israel could enter into that which the LORD their God had for them, it was necessary that that first generation fall in the wilderness, and it was necessary for Aaron to die and for his body to fall on this side of the Jordan River, however, it was also true that Moses the servant of the LORD needed to die. Moses the servant of the LORD—this man who was such an integral part of the narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel during their final months, weeks and days in the land of Egypt, as well as during their forty years of wandering in the wilderness—would need to die in order for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into the land which was sworn unto their fathers.

WHEN WHAT WAS LED YOU TO THIS POINT CAN LEAD YOU NO FURTHER! WHEN WHAT YOU HAVE RELIED ON UPU TO THIS POINT CANNOT BE RELIED ON ANYMORE! WHEN WHAT YOU HAVE ENJOYED ON THIS SIDE OF THE JORDAN RIVER CANNOT BE TAKEN WITH YOU! I have to admit that I am absolutely captivated with and by the fact that before the congregation of the children of Israel could enter into the land of Canaan which the LORD would bring them into, it was necessary for Moses the servant of the LORD to die, and for his body to fall on the eastern side of the Jordan River. So long as Moses the servant of the LORD was alive it was impossible for the congregation of the children of Israel to enter into that which the LORD their God had for them. MOSES WAS THE FINAL PIECE! It’s quite unique to think about and consider the fact that Moses was the final piece that was connected to both the wilderness, as well as the land into which the living God was going to bring the congregation of the children of Israel, for until Moses died the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not enter into that which the LORD their God had for them. Until Moses the servant of the LORD would die on the eastern side of the Jordan River the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not enter into the land which the LORD their God had prepared for them. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely remarkable reality, for before the congregation of the children of Israel could pass over the Jordan River, and before the congregation of the children of Israel could enter into the land to take possession of it as their inheritance in the earth, it was absolutely necessary for Moses to die. IN other words, it would be through and as a result of the death of Moses that would stand as an open door and an open invitation for the congregation of the children of Israel to move on from this side of the Jordan, to pass over the Jordan River, and to enter into the land which the congregation of the children of Israel was sworn and given by the Lord their God. Moses had brought the congregation of the children of Israel to this side of the Jordan River, and Moses the servant of the LORD had taught the children of Israel the laws and ways of the Lord their God, and yet Moses would and could not lead them past and beyond the Jordan River, for it was decreed of the LORD that he should fall and that his body should fall on this side of the Jordan River. The congregation of the children of Israel would be confined to the eastern side of the Jordan River so long as Moses the servant of the LORD remained among them, for his was the last and final body that needed to perish on this side of the Jordan River. All the bodies of the congregation of the children of Israel had already fallen and perished in the wilderness, and even the body of Aaron had fallen on this side of the Jordan River, and now the Lord was preparing Moses for his own death as he would see with his eyes the land of Canaan, however, he would not be permitted to enter into the land which was sworn on oath to their fathers.

MOSES MY SERVANT CANNOT GO WITH YOU! IN DEATH THERE IS AN OPEN DOOR! WHEN DEATH CALLS YOU FORTH! WHEN DEATH BECKONS YOU TO MOVE FORWARD! YOU CANNOT STAY AND REMAIN HERE! As I begin reading the Old Testament book of Joshua I cannot help but be absolutely captivated and gripped with and by the fact that it was necessary for Moses the servant of the LORD to die and to die on this side of the Jordan River, for the children of Israel could not enter into that which the LORD had for them, and they could not become that which the LORD had for them so long as Moses remained alive among them. Moses knew that he would die, and Moses knew that because of his own actions and his own disobedience before and in the sight of the living God he would and could not enter into the land of Canaan. It’s necessary that we recognize and understand this, for so long as Moses remained alive among the congregation of the children of Israel they would remain confined on the eastern side of the Jordan River and would and could not move forward into the land which the LORD had prepared for and promised unto them. When we read the words and language that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and when we read the language of the LORD speaking unto Joshua and declaring unto him that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, it was an open invitation given unto Joshua inviting and calling him to rise up and to lead the congregation of the children of Israel into the land which the LORD had prepared for them. In all reality, Moses was the final piece to the puzzle of the congregation of the children of Israel entering into the land which was sworn unto them, for until and unless Moses died and went the way of his fathers the congregation of the children of Israel would be held back from entering into that which the LORD would have for them, and would be refrained from becoming that which the LORD their God had for them. In all reality it was necessary for Moses the servant of the LORD to die and for his body to remain on the eastern side of the Jordan River, for so long as he remained alive among the congregation of the children of Israel they would and could not be able to enter into the land which the LORD had for them. Moses had indeed and had in fact brought the congregation of the children of Israel unto the eastern edge of the Jordan River, and had indeed brought them unto the plains of Moab, however, he would and could not go any further than the plains of Moab as his body needed to fall in the midst of the land east of the Jordan River.

WHAT NEEDS TO DIE THAT YOU MIGHT ENTER INTO THAT WHICH THE LORD HAS FOR YOU? WHAT NEED TO DIE IN ORDER FOR YOU TO BECOME WHAT THE LORD HAS CALLED YOU TO BE? WHAT MUST DIE THAT YOU MIGHT STEP INTO WHAT THE LORD HAS PREPARED FOR YOU? As we begin reading the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Joshua it is absolutely necessary that we understand and recognize that Moses the servant of the LORD needed to die on this side of the Jordan River, for so long as he was alive he would have held the congregation of the children of Israel back from that which the LORD their God had for them. So long as Moses was alive and remained among the congregation of the children of Israel they would and could not step into that which the LORD their God had for them, and they would essentially be held back. I fully recognize that it might seem utterly absurd and hard to grasp that Moses the servant of the LORD would and could hold the congregation fo the children of Israel back from entering into that which the LORD had for them, and from becoming that which the Lord their God had for them, however, the truth of the matter is that the congregation of the children of Israel would and could not go any further, and would and could not become that which the LORD their God had for them so long as Moses was alive and remained among them. So long as Moses the servant of the LORD remained among them on this side of the Jordan River they would and could not rise up, lay hold of, and take possession of that which the LORD had prepared and planned for them. It’s necessary that we understand and comprehend this truth, for it is possible that even those things which might seem good, and even those things which might seem right, and even those things which might seem holy can indeed hold us back from stepping into that which the LORD our God has for us. We wouldn’t think that Moses the servant of the LORD would and could hold the congregation of the children of Israel back from entering into that which the LORD had prepared for them, however, the truth of the matter is that the congregation of the children of Israel would always remain on the eastern edge of the Jordan River so long as Moses the servant of the LORD was alive and remained among them. Moses the servant of the LORD spoke with God face to face as a man would speak to a friend, and Moses the servant of the LORD would in fact teach the congregation of the children of Israel the ways and law of the living God, and yet his death would be an absolutely critical and vital part to their entering into that which the LORD had for them, and becoming that which the LORD desired them to be—namely, a nation and kingdom among the nations and peoples of the earth.

Oh I cannot help but be captivated with and by this reality and concept of that which might seem good and that which might seem right actually holding us back from that which the LORD our God has for us. I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that it is possible that there are things within our lives which need to die, and even things in our life which need to be removed in order for us to step into that which the LORD has for us. There are things within our lives which need to be completely and utterly removed and extracted from our lives in order that we might fully and completely step into what the LORD has for us, and to become what the LORD has for us in this life and within this generation. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely astounding and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the absolutely incredible truth of what might be needed within our hearts and lives in order for us to truly step into that which the LORD has for us. When Moses the servant of the LORD was died, the LORD spoke unto Joshua and spoke unto him of Moses’ death, but immediately after declaring unto Joshua that Moses was dead, the LORD would instruct Joshua to lead the congregation of the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the land which was sworn on oath unto them. It was true that Moses the servant of the LORD was dead, and the death of Moses would be the catalyst that would launch the congregation of the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the land which the LORD had prepared for them. You wouldn’t think that Moses the servant of the LORD would and could hold the congregation of the children of Israel back from entering into the land of Canaan and from becoming who they were created to be, and yet the truth of the matter is that it was the LORD Himself who decreed and declared that Moses would and could not enter into the land which the LORD had promised unto and prepared for the congregation of the children of Israel. Moses the servant of the LORD would fulfill and had fulfilled his purpose among the congregation of the children of Israel, and Moses would indeed and would in fact lead the congregation of the children of Israel to the eastern side of the Jordan River, however, Moses would and could not be able to go any further with the children of Israel, nor would or could he lead them into that place which the LORD had promised for and unto them. Moses the servant of the LORD would lead the congregation of the children of Israel as far as the plains of Moab, and he would see the land which was sworn unto the congregation of the children of Israel with his eyes, however, after seeing that good land which was prepared for the congregation of the children of Israel he would die and his body would be buried in the land of Moab by the LORD God of Israel. Moses would and could not go any further with the congregation of the children of Israel, and his death would be the release the congregation of the children of Israel, and Joshua would need in order that they might finally and once and for all enter into that which the LORD had prepared for them.

MOSES MY SERVANT IS DEAD, NOW RISE UP AND ENTER INTO WHAT I HAVE PREPARED FOR YOU! MOSES MY SERVANT IS DEAD, NOW RISE UP AND BECOME WHAT I HAVE CALLED YOU TO BE! I sit here this morning and I am absolutely astonished and amazed to think about and consider the absolutely tremendous fact that the congregation of the children of Israel would only be able to step into that which the LORD God had for them, and would only be able to become that which the LORD had called and created them to be upon the death of Moses, for so long as Moses remained among them they would be held back and confined to that land east of the Jordan River. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for we must understand and recognize that there are times in our lives when even those things we deem as good, and those things we deem as right, and perhaps even necessary are actually holding us back from that which the LORD our God has for us. There are times within our lives when it is necessary for certain things which we have trusted in and relied upon to die and to be removed from our lives in order that we might fully and completely step into that which the LORD our God has for us. There are times in our lives when it is necessary for those things which we perhaps feel are necessary to be removed and to be completely cut off from and within our lives in order that we might step into that which the LORD our God has for us, and become that which the LORD our God has for us. Moses had in fact taught the congregation of the children of Israel the ways of God, and had in fact taught them the Law of the living God, and yet it was necessary for Moses to die and for his body to remain on this side of the Jordan, for only after and only upon his death would the congregation of the children of Israel be released to step into that which the LORD their God had for them, and become that which the LORD their God had for them. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely remarkable and astonishing reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the incredible reality that in order for us to enter into that which the LORD our God has for us, and in order for us to become what the LORD has for us it is absolutely necessary for certain things to die, for certain relationships to end, for certain people to be removed from our lives, for certain things to be removed from our lives, and for us to experience a clean slate and a clean break from things in our past—perhaps even from things that aren’t inherently evil in the sight of the living God. We must recognize and understand that it is possible that even things which aren’t evil in nature, and even things which are good in the sight of the living God might need to be removed in order for us to enter into that which the LORD our God has for us.

Moses the servant of the LORD was perhaps one of the most unique prophets in the entire history and narrative of the congregation of the children of Israel—perhaps even the most unique prophet they had ever known—for Moses spoke with the living God face to face as a man would speak unto a friend. It would be Moses who would teach the congregation of the children of Israel the ways of God, and it would be the LORD who would teach the congregation of the children of Israel the Law of the LORD, and yet it was necessary for Moses to die in order for the congregation of the children of Israel to be released to step into that which the Lord their God had for them. We are in no way saying or declaring that Moses was evil, but rather that even this servant of the LORD and prophet who spoke with God face to face needed to die and his body remain on the eastern side of the Jordan River. Even Moses the servant of the LORD who would teach the congregation of the children of Israel the ways and law of the LORD needed to die and his body remain on the eastern side of the Jordan River that the congregation of the children of Israel might move forward, might cross the Jordan River and might step into that which the LORD their God had for them. Oh that we would read these words and that we would understand that which might need to be removed within our lives, and that which might need to die in order that we might step into that which the LORD our God has for us in this life. What in our lives needs to die and what in our lives needs to be removed in order that we might fully and completely step into that which the LORD our God has for us? What are we being instructed to let go of within our lives which we have had thoughts of holding on to in order that we might step into that which the LORD has for us, and become that which the LORD has called us to become? Oh that we would be willing to speak honestly and boldly with the LORD our God about this matter, and that we would be willing to understand and accept that which the LORD our God has for us, and are willing to accept that which might need to be removed, and that which needs to be put to death that we might truly step into that which the LORD our God has for us in this life.

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