The word “Deuteronomy” means “second law.” Moses wrote this fifth book of the Torah to remind the Israelites of what they had learned from the Lord during their wilderness travels and to prepare them to enter the Promised Land.
But Moses would not be allowed to enter the Promised Land. He had disobeyed the Lord at Kadesh by striking the rock when God had told him to speak to it to bring forth water. He blamed the people for driving him to anger. He pleaded with the Lord to let him go into the land, but the Lord told him to stop asking. Instead, the Lord instructed him to go to the “top of Pisgah,” whose peak was called, Mt. Nebo, so that he might see the land beyond the Jordan. This was as close as Moses, who had led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness for 40 years, ever got to the land flowing with milk and honey.
I stood on Mt. Nebo in 2005 while visiting missionaries in Jordan. From its height on a day with a clear blue sky, I could see the land that Moses was never allowed to enter. It was beautiful. Moses must have thought so too.
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” – John 3:14-15