ODJ: finish well

April 23, 2014 

READ: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 

There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face (v.10).

After my grandmother died, my husband and I were quizzed about death by our 5 year old twins. All I could think of to say was that she’d finished her work and then passed away. It’s a simple idea, but Scripture reveals that we have a certain number of days to finish our work on earth (Psalm 39:4, 90:10,12).

Moses had things to complete in his life. And he was 120 years old when he died! At the end, he spoke a blessing over the Israelites—who had cursed him and grumbled against him during their 40 years in the desert—and then he climbed a mountain, viewed the Promised Land, died and was buried by the Lord (Deuteronomy 33-34).

Deuteronomy captures the final days of Moses, an extraordinary leader who also experienced many weaknesses and failings. He committed murder, fled from his adoptive family, lied, lost his temper and at times exhibited a lack of faith. Despite all this, Moses finished well. “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (34:10). He died in good health, strong and at peace with His Maker—the way I hope to die when my work on earth is finished. “His eyesight was clear and he was as strong as ever” (v.7).

Pastor and author Max Lucado suggests that life is less about finishing everything and more about finishing the right things well. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

We have a race to run with things to do and—no matter our failings—we still have opportunity to make peace with God and people. We too can finish well!
—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan› 2 Kings 2:1-12

Read Deuteronomy 30:15-19 and consider what Moses instructed the people to do to make the most of their days. 
What will you do to finish your life well? How can you know what God wants you to accomplish at this stage in your life?