So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
I. THE SOVEREIGN OF THE WORLD CAN CARRY ON HIS PURPOSES IN IT WITHOUT THE HELP OF MAN. Moses was taken away from Israel just at the time when he seemed most necessary to them. How mysterious was this dispensation! And yet the occurrences of every day are involved in almost equal mystery. Do we ask why He acts thus? To teach us our nothingness and His greatness; to show the world that although He is pleased to employ human instruments, He does not need them; to let His creatures see that, even if the hosts of heaven should cease to obey His word, He could form other hands to do His work, or accomplish His purposes without any instrument at all.
II. SIN IS EXCEEDINGLY HATEFUL IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, AND HE WILL MARK IT WITH HIS DISPLEASURE EVEN IN HIS MOST BELOVED SERVANTS. Remember that one transgression excluded the faithful Moses from Canaan; what then will be your doom, laden as you are with so many sins, and so hardened in guilt?
III. THE AFFLICTED SERVANT OF GOD IS GENERALLY ENABLED TO SUBMIT WITH RESIGNATION TO THE CHASTISEMENTS OF HIS HEAVENLY FATHER. It is not indeed wrong to feel the smart of afflictions. Insensibility under them is not only unnatural, but sinful, for it subverts the purposes for which they were sent to us. Moses felt sorrow and pain when he was forbidden to enter Canaan; and a greater than Moses had His soul troubled at the thought of approaching suffering. Neither is it wrong to beseech the Almighty to withdraw from us the chastisements with which He has visited us. Moses besought the Lord that he might be allowed to go over Jordan; and what was the language of the suffering Jesus? (Matthew 26:39.) We see no insensibility here, no despising of the chastening of the Lord. We see, on the contrary, the liveliest, the deepest feeling. But then this feeling is attended with a spirit of entire submission.
IV. THE DEATH OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD, WITH ALL THE CIRCUMSTANCES CONNECTED WITH IT, IS ORDERED BY THE LORD. Our Bibles tell us that He disposes of the meanest and smallest concerns of our life; how much more then of life itself!
V. THE PEOPLE OF GOD MAY CONFIDENTLY EXPECT FROM HIM SUPPORT AND COMFORT IN THE HOUR OF DEATH. In such an hour, flesh and heart must fail; the soul must need support; and they who fear the Lord shall find all the grace and help they need. He who was with Moses will be with them, as "the strength of their heart and their portion forever."
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.