Deuteronomy 31:1-3, 34:5-6

Moses hands over to Joshua

Moses was now one hundred and twenty years old. He called everyone together and said to them, “Love the Lord your God; obey Him and be faithful to Him and you will live long in the land He has promised to give you.” Moses also told the Israelites that he would no longer be their leader. Joshua would become the one to lead them into the Promised Land.

Then Moses went to the top of a high mountain where God showed him the land He had chosen for His people. Yet, Moses himself was not allowed to enter into the Promised Land because he had disobeyed God by striking the rock instead of speaking to it. Moses died in the land of Moab and the Lord buried him there.

Does God know when I will die?

God knows exactly how many days each of us will live here on earth. Does it seem a bit scary to know that there is a certain day on which you will die and there is nothing that can change that?

On the other hand, isn’t it comforting to know that nothing and no one can take your life before that time—that you are completely safe in God’s hands! It is also comforting that God Himself will be there to take us to be with Him, right into His presence where we will be safe and happy forever.

For those who believe in Jesus and have been saved from sin, death is not the end! If you read Matthew 17:1-3, you will see that Moses was actually talking to Jesus hundreds of years later, when Jesus was on earth. Moses did not have his human body anymore. He had received a different kind of body; one that never gets old and will never die (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Verse for today

…All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16


Numbers 21:4-9

The bronze snake

The Israelites would have to live in the desert many years—until all those who had complained and grumbled against the Lord had died. Only their children would be allowed to go into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:31-32).

Yet, even while they were on their way from Mount Hor to the area of Edom, the people started complaining again. So God put poisonous snakes among the people and many Israelites were bitten and died.

The people realized that they had sinned against the Lord and asked Moses to pray for them. Then God said to Moses “Make a snake and put it on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”

So Moses made a bronze snake and lifted it up on a pole. And all those who obeyed God and looked up at the snake were healed.

Why did God make snakes?

Are you scared of snakes? Imagine creeping into a tent on a dark night and putting your hand on something soft and slithery.

Snakes, like other dangerous animals, are all a part of God’s creation. Before Adam and Eve sinned, there was no danger and no death. Eve wasn’t even afraid of a snake! Sin changed that. The day Adam and Eve sinned, God cursed the snake and said, “I will make you and the woman hate each other. Her children will crush your head, and you will bite their heel” (Genesis 3:14-15). For the Israelites, the snake had again become a sign of death—the punishment for disobedience and rebellion.

Only Jesus could come and make things the way they were meant to be on earth—a place of safety and peace where children would play near snakes (Isaiah 11:8).

Many years later Jesus did come, and He was lifted up on a cross to die and to bring healing to all those who look to Him.

Verse for today

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15


Numbers 13:1-2, 25-31

The spies

At this stage, the Israelites were very close to Canaan—the land the Lord had promised them.

The Lord said to Moses, “Choose a leader from each of the twelve tribes and send them as spies into the land of Canaan.” So Moses did what the Lord said and chose twelve spies. He told them to find out what the country was like, how many people lived there, and how strong they were. Then he sent them to go spy out the land.

After forty days, the spies came back carrying large bunches of grapes and other fruit. They told Moses that there were cities with high walls and very big people living there. Of the twelve spies, only Joshua and Caleb trusted God and said that they had nothing to fear because God was on their side.

If God can see everywhere, why does He need spies?

God did not need spies in order to get information about the people or the land He had created and cared for. God knew exactly how many grains of sand were in the Promised Land and how many hairs were on the head of each person living there. If God did not need to find out more about the people there, why did He tell Moses to send spies to go find out about them? Do you think that Moses and the others needed to know what they were up against?

God wanted to see whether the Israelites believed that He was able to give them what He had promised. From what the spies said, the Israelites knew that the future would not be easy. Would they trust God enough to face the challenge of conquering the land? Joshua and Caleb passed the test of faith by trusting God; the other spies failed and caused the whole nation to doubt God.

Verse for today

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart. Deuteronomy 8:2


Exodus 36:2-7

More than enough

Now that Moses was back, and the Israelites had seen God’s awesome power, they realized that it had been a bad idea to make the golden calf.

God was giving them another chance to show their love for Him by letting them bring gifts that would be used to build the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle would be a special place where God would meet with them—right in their camp!

The people were so excited that they brought piles and piles of stuff: there was a pile for gold, a pile for silver, a pile for fine linen. Eventually there was so much that Moses had to tell everyone to stop bringing things. (The full list of things people brought is in Exodus 25:1-7).

Can I also give something to God’s work?

God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). God loves it when we give freely, without feeling that we have to give something to stay in His ‘good books’.

Remember how the wise men traveled a long way to take beautiful gifts to Jesus the King of kings (Matthew 8:11). They did not just send a few gifts with someone traveling that way. They wanted to take the gifts themselves. When we give to God, we should become part of the gift by giving of ourselves, our time, and perhaps even some of our hard-earned pocket money.

God can use whatever we give when we give with a heart of joy. By giving to God, we worship Him and show Him our love. Remember, Jesus sees even the smallest love-gift you give.

Verse for today

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. Mark 12:42-43


Exodus 34:1, 29-35

Shining for the Lord

Moses went up the mountain again; this time to get another set of commandments. In anger, he had smashed the first set when he saw the Israelites worshiping the golden calf. Moses chiseled out two stone tablets, like the first ones, and took them up the mountain for God to write on.

When he got back, his face glowed brightly because he had been so close to the Lord. When the people saw his face, they were afraid to go near him. But Moses was not aware that his face was shining and he called them closer. First, Aaron and the leaders went to him, then the others gathered around, and Moses gave them the laws the Lord had given him on the mountain.

How can I shine for Jesus?

If you have a glow-in-the-dark sticker or a watch with glowing hands, you would probably have noticed that when you hold it right next to the light before you turn the light off, it shines a lot brighter. After a while, it loses its glow, and by morning it is rather dim.

Moses had been with God for such a long time that his face began to shine. Every time he met with God, his face shone so brightly that he had to cover it with a cloth.

We know that God is so pure and holy that we cannot look at Him and live (Exodus 33:20). So, whenever God would speak to someone, He would shield them so they would not see His face.

The more time we spend reading the Bible and praying, the more we allow God’s light to shine in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6). The more we are in God’s presence, the more brightly we will shine for Him—not like an ordinary light, but with the beauty and purity of God.

Verse for today

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


Exodus 32:1-4, 15-19

The golden calf

Moses had been up on Mount Sinai for a long time and the people in the camp below were becoming impatient. They said to Aaron, “We don’t know what has happened to Moses, so make a god that will lead us.”

So Aaron told the people to take off the golden earrings they had received from the Egyptians and he melted the gold. Then he formed it into the shape of a calf.

As Moses was coming down from the mountain he saw the people worshiping the calf. He was so furious that he smashed the stone tablets the Lord had given him. When he got to the camp, he melted the golden calf, ground the gold into a fine powder and mixed it with the drinking water.

What is idolatry?

Isn’t this one of the silliest things you’ve ever heard? These people made a statue of a calf and actually believed that it had led them out of Egypt! Although they had made the calf themselves, they respected it as though it had become greater than them. The calf became their idol!

Idolatry means worshiping or believing in things instead of in God. Do you remember the second commandment? Look up Exodus 20:2-5 and read it again.

Even though you probably don’t have idols in your room and you don’t bow down to things in nature, there is a danger of other things creeping into your heart; things that become so important that you think about them all the time. Be careful that the things you have, or long for, don’t take God’s place in your heart.

Verse for today

You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3


Exodus 25:10,11,16,30

The Covenant Box

Inside the Holy Tent, where God would meet with the people of Israel, there was to be a holy box.

The Lord told Moses exactly how big it should be and what it should look like. It was to be made of acacia wood and covered with gold on the inside and the outside. It was to have rings on the sides through which poles would go to carry it.

Moses was told to put the stone tablets—on which the commandments were written—inside the Covenant Box.

How can I remember all God’s rules?

Do you sometimes have trouble remembering things? God knows how easily we forget rules and instructions, especially a whole long list of them. That is why God wrote the commandments on stone tablets that would last a long, long time. And, to make sure that the tablets would not be lost or forgotten somewhere, He told Moses to put them safely inside the Covenant Box.

However, now the people wouldn’t be able to read the commandments to make sure they were following them. So Moses told the parents to teach the commands to their children.  He also told them to write the commandments on their doorposts; to wear them on their foreheads, and to tie them around their arms, so they would never forget a single command (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

An even better way of remembering God’s rules (and doing them), is to write the commandments in your heart. That means, if your heart wants to please the Lord, the Ten Commandments become just two: Love the Lord with all your heart and love others as you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). Now that is a lot easier to remember!

Verse for today

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11