According to Deuteronomy 34:1-5, the last thing Moses did on earth was climb a mountain.
1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3 the Negeb, and the Plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 And the Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, ‘I will give it to your offspring.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, (ESV)
The summit of Mt. Pisgah reaches a height of 4,500 feet above the Dead Sea. That’s almost a mile. Not too many 120 year old men can climb a mountain almost a mile high and live to tell the story. I’m not even half Moses’ age, and I was huffing and puffing trying to negotiate a step ladder today.
Yet here was Moses, 120 years old, scaling the heights. I don’t know for sure, but perhaps climbing Mt. Pisgah was part of Moses’ bucket list.
What I do know is that verse one is a fitting metaphor for Moses’ life. He wasn’t satisfied with status quo. He wanted to change things for the better. He wasn’t content with his people being slaves in Egypt. He wanted to deliver them from bondage and bring them back to the Promised Land. It took longer than he wanted, but in God’s time, Moses accomplished that goal.
Moses wasn’t satisfied with having a nice, average Bible study and prayer time each day. He wasn’t content with spending seven minutes with God. He wanted more of God. He begged God, “Show me your glory.” Moses wanted a better, deeper, stronger relationship with God. He wouldn’t settle for just OK.
Moses wanted that same depth of relationship for his people. He was frustrated when they refused to believe God’s promises and when they quickly went back to idol worship.
It’s fitting that his last act was to climb a mountain. Moses died the way he lived, climbing ever higher.
That’s the kind of model I want to pattern my life after. That’s the kind of man I’d like to be.