Moses and the Promised Land

Two days ago the gifted Christian missionary and blogger, Jennifer Arimborgo, wrote an amazing article titled, “Moses DID Get into the Promised Land!”

That sent more than a few of her hundreds of followers reaching for our Bibles (always a Good Thing!).

Jennifer points to Matthew 17:

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

Matthew 17: 1-3

I think, like many people, my first thought was, “Oh THANK YOU Jesus!” It always seemed so unfair to me, after all that Moses did in faithful service to God, that God denied Moses entry to the Promised Land over one sinful moment of anger.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally love Jennifer Arimborgo’s inspired and gifted writing! And this brilliant article sent me to the Bible for hours — a wonderful thing!

But as much as I’d like it to be true, I’m not sure I’m convinced. Wasn’t the vision seen by the three disciples a glimpse of God’s Kingdom? I mean, I’m thrilled that Moses went to Heaven (if, in fact, that’s what the vision revealed). And maybe Heaven, not Israel, is The Promised Land … which would make a lot of sense.

But taking The Promised Land to be, literally, the land surrounding the Euphrates River (and more) that was promised to Abraham and his descendants, I’m not sure I’m convinced that Moses was literally there in that part of the world on the mountain with Jesus at the Transfiguration. I think Moses was in Heaven.

Now I’m the first to admit that I’m totally confused at this point in my spiritual life about when the words in the Bible are literally true and when they are poetic or parable or prophesy (or questionable translations of languages that I don’t read or write).

And I’m also no theologian, so there’s that.

Thus, my thoughts may be totally misguided.

But the wonderful thing about Jennifer’s writing is that it inspires me and so many others to read and reread the Bible with an open mind and an open heart.

God bless her for starting an awesome conversation about this familiar story from the Gospels!

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