And I sought the LORD at that time, saying,…
1. We learn from this, first of all, that one sin may shut us out of heaven. Moses had committed a sin long ago; since then he had done God good service, yet that sin was not forgotten, it shut him out of the promised land. Sin always brings its own punishment, at some time or other, and in some way or another. Some sins, like some seeds, grow up and bear their bitter fruit very quickly. Others lie hid for a long time, but they bear fruit.
2. Learn next, that doing good does not atone for a past sin. "All our obediences," says an old writer of the Church, "cannot blot out one sin against God." When we have forgotten our sins, God remembers them, and though not ill anger, yet He calls for our arrears. If Moses died the first death for one fault, how shall they "escape the second death for sinning always"? Do not think that the old sins of your past lives are of no importance because you may have been living decent lives of late. "I pray thee, let me go over, that I may see the good land that is beyond Jordan." Some of us, who have wandered these many years in the wilderness, long very eagerly for that "rest which remaineth for the people of God." Many a one is tempted sometimes, when the sorrow is very sharp and the road very tempted sometimes to say, "I pray Thee, let me go over, that I may see the good land that is beyond Jordan." Wishing for Paradise will not take us there. For us all there is a work to be done, and a given time to do it in. A quaint old writer tells us that "God sends His servants to bed when they have done their work." Our journey through this world must be one of watching, of fighting, of praying, and of waiting, and when that is over our Master will give His beloved sleep. When the American saint and hero "Stonewall" Jackson was dying, he said, "Let us cross the river, and rest under the shade of the trees"; so may we one day hope to cross the river of death, and to see the good land that is beyond Jordan, and to rest under the shadow of the Tree of Life, "whose leaves are for the healing of the nations."
(H. J. Wilmot Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,