That’s right. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and all through the desert, but Moses did not lead God’s people into the Holy Land.
That’s the subject of a spiritual conundrum posed by darcydee:
My question to you is, “Why was Moses refused entrance into the Holy Land, after he led God’s people there?”
Thanks for the great question, darcydee! It points to some fascinating stories in the Bible. And those stories point to some wonderful insights on the mental and emotional changes we must pass through in order to reach our own “holy land” of spiritual adulthood.
The short answer to your question is that Moses, because of his character and his cultural and spiritual significance, was the right person to lead the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt; but he was the wrong person to lead them into the Holy Land.
Why was Moses the wrong person to lead God’s people into the Holy Land?
As great a leader as he was, like every human being Moses had his character flaws. He was not allowed into the Holy Land because of his:
- Lack of trust in God
- Grumbling and complaining
- Failure to follow God’s commands exactly
- Grandstanding and stealing God’s glory in front of the people
These failings in Moses’ character all came out at a place near Kadesh (also called Kadesh Barnea), just south of Palestine. This place came to be called Meribah (“quarreling”) because of a certain incident that took place there.
That’s where God commanded Moses for a second time to bring water out of a rock for the thirsty people.
And where, instead of following God’s simple instructions, Moses made a big production of it in front of the people.
And thus where God told Moses and his brother Aaron that because they had neither trusted God nor given God the glory, they would never set foot in the Holy Land (Numbers 20:12).
Let’s take a closer look.