The Story of Patriarchs and Prophets
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 42: The Law Repeated
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The Lord announced to Moses that the appointed time for
the possession of Canaan was at hand; and as the aged
prophet stood upon the heights overlooking the river Jordan
and the Promised Land, he gazed with deep interest upon the
inheritance of his people. Would it be possible that the sentence
pronounced against him for his sin at Kadesh might be revoked?
With deep earnestness he pleaded, "O Lord God, Thou
hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy mighty
hand; for what god is there in heaven or in earth, that can do
according to Thy works, and according to Thy might? I pray Thee,
let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that
goodly mountain, and Lebanon." Deuteronomy 3:24-27.
The answer was, "Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto Me
of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up
thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward,
and behold it with thine eyes; for thou shalt not go over
Without a murmur Moses submitted to the decree of God.
And now his great anxiety was for Israel. Who would feel the
interest for their welfare that he had felt? From a full heart he
poured forth the prayer, "Let the Lord, the God of the spirits
of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may go out
before them, and which may go in before them, and which may
lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation
of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd."
Numbers 27:16, 17.
The Lord hearkened to the prayer of His servant; and the
answer came, "Take thee Joshua, the son of Nun, a man in
whom is the Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; and set him
before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and
give him a charge in their sight. And thou shalt put some of
thine honor upon him, that all the congregation of the people
of Israel may be obedient." Verses 18-20. Joshua had long [p. 463] attended Moses; and being a man of wisdom, ability, and faith,
he was chosen to succeed him.
Through the laying on of hands by Moses, accompanied by a
most impressive charge, Joshua was solemnly set apart as the
leader of Israel. He was also admitted to a present share in the
government. The words of the Lord concerning Joshua came
through Moses to the congregation, "He shall stand before
Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him, after the judgment
of Urim before the Lord. At his word shall they go out, and
at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of
Israel with him, even all the congregation." Verses 21-23.
Before relinquishing his position as the visible leader of
Israel, Moses was directed to rehearse to them the history of their
deliverance from Egypt and their journeyings in the wilderness,
and also to recapitulate the law spoken from Sinai. When the
law was given, but few of the present congregation were old
enough to comprehend the awful solemnity of the occasion.
As they were soon to pass over Jordan and take possession of
the Promised Land, God would present before them the claims
of His law and enjoin upon them obedience as the condition of
Moses stood before the people to repeat his last warnings and
admonitions. His face was illumined with a holy light. His hair
was white with age; but his form was erect, his countenance
expressed the unabated vigor of health, and his eye was clear
and undimmed. It was an important occasion, and with deep
feeling he portrayed the love and mercy of their Almighty
"Ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee,
since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from
the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been
any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the
midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? or hath God
assayed to go and take Him a nation from the midst of another
nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war,
and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great
terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in
Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was showed, that thou
mightest know that the Lord He is God; there is none else
beside Him." [p. 464]
"The Lord did not set His love upon you, nor choose you,
because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were
the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you, and
because He would keep the oath which He had sworn unto your
fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and
redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of
Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that Jehovah thy God,
He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy
with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a
thousand generations." Deuteronomy 7:7-9.
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