Keeping DEATH as a REALITY in our daily living: As we come to the closing chapters of Deuteronomy, God clarifies what will happen to Moses now: Then the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, the days approach when you must die" (Deut 31:14). Moses was to “rest with his fathers” (v. 16a) in a short time. However, there were certain things that Moses was to accomplish on earth before he died:
- Moses had to write down the law and deliver it to the priests so that they will safeguard it in the Ark of the Covenant. This law was to be read to the Israelites once in every seven years at the Feast of the Tabernacles (Deut 31:9-13)
- Moses was to hand over the leadership to Joshua and inaugurate him in the sight of the Israelites (Deut 31:7-8, 14)
- Moses was to write down a song and teach it to the children of Israel so that this song would be a witness for God against the children of Israel. “Now therefore, write down this song for yourselves, and teach it to the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel” (Deut 31:19). This ‘Song of Moses’ is recorded for our benefit in Deut 32:1-43.
- Moses had to give his final blessings to the children of Israel according to their tribes, which is recorded in Deut 33:1-29.
- Finally, Moses had to view the land of Israel from a distance standing on top of Mount Nebo and see for himself The Promised Land that he had lead the Israelites the past forty years to inherit (Deut 32:48-52; 34:1-5).
I recently came across a website called ‘The Death Clock’ (http://www.death-clock.org) that would allow us to use their ‘advanced life expectancy calculator’ to predict the date of our death depending on where we and how we live. I know it sounds morbid, and we cannot predict the date of our death – for only God knows when we will die or when our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back. However, being aware of our own death in the near future will allow us to have the right perspective towards life, and prioritize the things that really have eternal value, significance and lasting rewards.
Let us join with Moses in praying the following: "So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom" (Psalms 90:12). Let us live as if today was the last day of our lives!