O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon. (Deuteronomy 3:24-25)
After recounting the battles that occurred just before this discourse, Moses explains how he prayed to the LORD — not that he might continue being the leader (Joshua had already been designated as his successor) — but that he would be allowed to cross the river and walk in the land to see it. His desire was to see “this good mountain,” which is to imply it was a specific mountain that he wished to see. In fact, there are traditions that say this was understood to be Mount Moriah, the future site of the Temple. Interestingly, Moriah is a Hebrew word said to be related to the term re’ah — ראה “to see.”
The reader should recall that Abraham referred to Moriah as the place where the LORD would be seen. In fact, some are of the belief that Moriah is derived from ראה יה re’ah Yah — “seen of Yah.” Another interesting connection is the Hebrew word, מורה moreh which means “teacher.” So it is interesting that Moses ( in Judaism referred to as rebbenu “our teacher”) was anxious to see the mountain where God would reside and from where, according to the prophets, His Word would go forth into the earth.
Moses isn’t the only one who desired to see this mountain; so many of God’s people through the ages have longed to see this mountain, and by inference, the place were God’s Presence would dwell. This same longing carries over into the last days as well and will be, in time to come, a rallying cry of sorts for those who long for the Creator and His Will on earth to be accomplished. As it written:
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3)
We, also, look forward to this day because in that day the Messiah will be “seen” and will reign over all of the earth from Jerusalem. In that day, the Adversary will be restrained and God’s Word and Will shall envelop the entire world in an unprecedented time of peace and righteousness. Maybe this is what Moses truly desired to see; I certainly do. In the meantime, we must live in a manner that upholds righteousness and justice even as we look ahead to the time when we shall all come to the mountain of the LORD to worship and celebrate our King.
Blessings and Shalom,