These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, ….. Moses, the servant of the LORD, and the Israelites conquered them. …. These are the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan,
Joshua 12 vv 1, 6 & 7
As a teenager I collected stamps – in those days most of us did! Some of the ones I had came from a mysterious place called ‘Transjordan’; somewhere ‘Across the Jordan’. If you want to know the history of the place, look it up on Wikipedia! You will see the seeds of much of the present trouble in the Middle East. Suffice to say that the River Jordan formed one of its boundaries. In fact, the Jordan has always been a river of huge significance, even in Joshua’s time. Moses was able to lead the Israelites in conquering tribes on the east bank, while Joshua crossed the river and led the conquest of the west bank tribes. When you hear politicians today talking about the East and West Banks, think Moses and Joshua!
Where is all this leading us? The story goes back a long way. At one point under Moses leadership during the long march through the desert by the Israelites, Moses acted hastily and claimed power for himself rather than acknowledging it was from God. We find this in Deuteronomy 32 vv 48-52 ‘On that same day the LORD told Moses, “Go up into the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites. Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”
The consequences of Moses sin long before determined who was able to lead the conquest of the land!
For reflection: Sin may be forgiven – but the consequences may stay with us for a long time!