I admit to reading this with a bit of confusion. Moses relates how he was forbidden by the Lord from entering the promised land because of the Israelites’ unwillingness to trust God’s protection and take over the land they had been promised. In Numbers 14:29-34, God tells Moses that everyone over 20 years old, including Moses, will perish before the Israelites can enter the promised land. Moses reminds them of this in Deuteronomy 1:36-37.
But remembering Moses’ history with the rock, I looked up Numbers 20:10-12, where Moses is told by the Lord to command the rock to produce water for the thirsty people, but instead he strikes the rock with his staff, and the Lord tells him he will not lead the community into the land the Lord is giving them.
So, it looks like Moses is doubly excluded. Regardless, it no doubt was a crushing disappointment for Moses to not be able to set foot on and enjoy the promised land, after all he had been through over the years. But, when the judgement had been passed down from God, it wasn’t like Moses could appeal it to a higher court.
Moses accepts God’s ruling and went on to do his duty and honor God, as he had done for the majority of his life. He reminds the people of their history together and everything that had transpired to get them to where they were at the present, all the high points when they received God’s blessings and the low points when they suffered God’s punishments.
This was especially important, as the older generation that had experienced most of those highs and lows and had received God’s guidance had all died off and Moses was soon to join them. Moses accepted God’s judgement and remained a faithful servant of God. Quite an example for us, can we play the hand dealt us and continue to trust in God’s goodness, or are we only on board when dealt the “good” hand? Hmm……