I’ve heard the story about Moses not being able to enter the Promised Land at least a dozen times. The short version: Moses sinned in his anger, again, and God said, “Okay buddy, I love you and stuff, but because of your actions you won’t get to lead the Israelites into the place flowing with milk and honey.” The end. I could learn a lot of “lessons” from this story, one being.. anger will jack up your relationship with God.
But what if the story doesn’t end there? It doesn’t, my friend.
I started a new Bible study a few weeks ago. My counselor recommended stepping outside of my comfort zone and plugging in with a group of women I don’t know, and since she makes the big bucks to tell me what the jack is wrong with me, I heeded her advice.
We started digging into Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story by Angie Smith. Whoa, Nelly, it’s a powerful study! Page 78 rocked my world and made me snot bubble cry, y’all.
Moses had some anger issues, no doubt. I relate far too well with his temper tantrums, unfortunately. My friend Marcie often tells me, “Calm down Moses. Quit getting so worked up.” Time to find new friends.
But God’s grace in Moses’ life blows me away.
In Deuteronomy 34, we get a front row seat into just how big God’s grace is, not only in Moses’ life, but our own. Did you know even though Moses didn’t get to step foot into the Promised Land, he still got to see it? Ya.. I didn’t either. I’ll summarize the story for you, but I encourage you to read it for yourself.
God took Moses up to Mount Nebo and showed him the whole land. The. Whole. Land. He didn’t get to enter the land, but he was allowed to see it “with his own eyes.” Enter grace.
Then it gets better. When Moses died, “he was as strong as ever” at 120 years old. He didn’t even need glasses. He died healthy and happy, just having seen the land he’d spent years trying to get the Israelites to walk to safely. The cool part, though, is “the Lord buried him.” God himself took the time to bury Moses, this unfit, stuttering, temper-losing guy who just wanted to tend his sheep in the desert, but instead spent 40 years helping free God’s people from slavery. Enter more grace.
Oh wait.. it gets even better. The Bible says “there has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” This is the part where I throw my hands in the air and say, “God… I want to see you face to face. I want that, pretty pretty please with sugar on top!” Enter even more grace.
As I read this story, I really did weep. Angie Smith writes in the study, “The tender care of a Father in this moment absolutely slays me every time.” Me too, Angie. Me too.
It’s easy to look at the beginning of this story and be disappointed, but when we read the rest of the story, how can we not have hope? How can we not be reminded of just how much our Heavenly Father loves us?
I struggle with having grace for myself, especially in these last two months. I can get stuck in this pit of shame that tells me I have to punish myself. I convince myself God isn’t ready to give me grace yet.
I’m too bad.
That sin is just unforgivable.
God should show grace to everyone else, but not me.
Just a few more weeks of punishment and then God and I can talk about His grace.
What a bunch of crap!
I’ll never forget Deuteronomy 34 again. I call it my “grace reminder.” There are consequences for our sin, yes. Moses had to face the consequences of his disobedience to God by not being allowed to enter the Promised Land. But even in the midst of our consequences, God’s grace is bigger. Please hear that, again, my friend. God’s grace is BIGGER than our consequences.
If you’re sitting in shame, stop it! If you’re allowing others to condemn your choices, stop it! If you’re condemning your choices, stop it! If you’re refusing to receive God’s grace in the midst of your pain, stop it! Stop. It. Stop. It. Stop. It. Excuse me while I look in the mirror and preach this to myself.
God is still here and He’s ready to offer you grace, if you’ll accept it. But you have to accept it. He won’t force us to receive His grace. But when we’re done beating ourselves up, He’ll be there ready to wash us off, again. He’ll be there to hold us tightly, again. He’ll be there to remind us we are His beloved, again.
Smith says, “Maybe life is easier when we obey God the first time.” She’s so right, but we’re gonna screw up time and time again, because well… we’re human… but grace. Moses had a history of sin, yet God continued to partner with him. Oh no… get out the tissues, I feel the tears coming again.
Our Bible study leader, Erin Davis, who is an amazing writer herself I recently discovered, said this about our man Moses: “Moses went out with his boots on.”
I’d say he did. You and I can do the same, my friend. Despite our failures. Despite our temper tantrums. Despite the crimson stained sins of our past, and those really stupid things we’ll do in the future, Jesus wants to wash us white as snow, help us lace up and go out with our boots on!
Lace up, friend. Lace up.
Question: How have you seen grace show up in your life recently? You can leave a comment by clicking here.