by Clarence E. Macartney

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The Prayers of the Old Testament (5 of 13)
The Prayer of Moses
Clarence E. Macartney
Deuteronomy 3:25

One of our hymns asks that we may be taught the "patience of unanswered
prayer." We have before us now a prayer that was not answered, and an
exhibition of patience in the man who prayed but did not receive. The
unanswered prayers of the Bible, the prayer of Abraham that Ishmael
might live before the Lord, of Balaam that he might die the death of the
righteous, of Paul over the thorn in his flesh, of Jesus over His cup of
agony, are in many respects the most profitable to our instruction and

Israel's forty years of wandering were at an end. From the Red Sea to the
Jordan, Moses had led his people, and they now lay encamped on the other
side of Jordan ready to pass over into Canaan. We can imagine what the
feelings of Moses must have been. The work for which, at the beginning,
and many a time since, he had felt himself unable, had been brought to a
successful consummation. The people were ready to pass over. The land
that had been the goal of all his labors and the content of all his dreams lay
just there, on the other side of the river. At the time of a past offense,
Moses had been warned that neither he nor Aaron would be permitted to
bring the assembly into the land which God had given them. That word of
the Lord came back to him now as he stood so near the promised land. He
could not bear the thought of not crossing over and entering the land with
the triumphant people. In his valedictory he tells Israel of his prayer: "And
I besought the Lord at that time, saying, O Lord Jehovah, thou hast begun
to show thy servant thy kindness, greatness, and thy strong hand; for what
god is there in heaven or earth that can do according to thy works and
according to thy mighty acts? Let me go over, I pray thee, and see the
good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain and Lebanon. But
the Lord was wro ...

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