Atop Mount Nebo
by Mary Kate Hipp
On a clear day when standing atop Mount Nebo, one could see almost the entirety of Israel just as the author of Deuteronomy depicts. Mount Nebo is in the southern region of Jordan (the modern country next to Israel) and in this passage, we read of Moses looking out onto the western coast, to the northernmost points of the country as well as the southern. At the time, Moses had no idea of all that would be done in this land.
To some extent, he understood that this was the land that God had promised His people. But Moses had no way of knowing that on this land He would miraculously tear down walls, that He would save His people time and time again, that His Son would be born of a virgin, heal the lame and leper, redeem the lost, be crucified for our sins and rise again. Moses may not have understood all that was to come within the land, but he understood that God is faithful to deliver on His promises.
How often do we stand atop a metaphorical mountain and see nothing? When I summited Mount Nebo during my time abroad, it was a particularly foggy day. The entire bus ride to the foot of the mountain, my professor was explaining how spectacular of a view it was, how you could see as far as the land stretched. I was so excited, yet when I got to the top I was beyond disappointed as if I had not already seen and known of all that the Lord had done. I remember saying something along the lines of "...it would have been really cool to see the whole lay of the land—ya know, really see what the Lord has done." I look back now and laugh at that statement.
My point in all of this—even though we cannot see all that God has done or will do, does not mean that He will not fulfill His promises. For Moses, he could not see all that was to come yet he believed. For me, I allowed the fog to (literally) cloud my knowledge of what the Lord had done. How quickly do we forget all that the Lord has done? How often do we need "proof" from the Lord of His handiwork?
This past week we celebrated All Saints' Day and I cannot help but think of our great cloud of witnesses, particularly Moses. By faith, Moses believed (Hebrews 11) along with other members of the faith. By faith, Moses trusted and believed that God would do all that He said He would, and that He would be faithful even when Moses could not see it.
This week I challenge you to spend time reflecting on how the Lord has been faithful in your life. Reflect over the day, the month or last few months, the year, etc. Write these down on a piece of paper and keep it in your Bible or on your fridge—in a place where you will see it often and thank the Lord for all He has done! Far be it from us for our vision to be fogged from seeing what He has done or to not believe that He will keep His promises. Stand atop Mount Nebo and see all that the Lord has done and envision how much more He will do!
We praise you O God for your faithfulness. We praise you that you are faithful and good even when we cannot see it. Call to our minds the ways in which you have been faithful. Give us the faith of Moses. Lord, we love you, amen.