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From Mount Nebo to Jericho: Part 1 

Presentation from the Middle-East 

Deuteronomy 34.1–4 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • September 1, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. You can follow Israel’s journey in the Bible or 
    1. you can follow Israel journey in the land 
    2. by using the Bible as your guide. 
  2. In July, this is what the four of us did, at least part of the way 
    1. as we traveled from Mount Nebo 
    2. to the oldest city in the world, 
      1. the city of palm trees, 
      2. the city of Jericho. 
  3. It all began with a promise that God made to the patriarch Abraham. 


  1. The Nation-Land Promise 
    1. Genesis 12.1–2

      1 Now the LORD had said to Abram:

      “Get out of your country,
      From your family
      And from your father’s house,
      To a land that I will show you.
      2 I will make you a great nation;
      I will bless you
      And make your name great;
      And you shall be a blessing.

      – Genesis 12.1–2
      1. Abraham did as the Lord told him and 
      2. when he arrived the Lord showed him the land. 
    2. Genesis 12 shows Abraham arriving and God promising:

      5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. 7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

      – Genesis 12.5–9
      1. Abraham had Isaac and 
      2. Isaac had Jacob and 
      3. Jacob had twelve sons. 
        1. The family grew to 70 and 
        2. they moved to Egypt. 
          1. As the children of Jacob grew mightily in number, 
          2. the Egyptians feared the Israelites and 
            1. forced them into slavery, 
            2. making brick for a great city of Egypt. 
              1. People say the Israelites made the pyramids, but 
              2. the Bible what the Egyptians made Israel do:

                11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.

                – Exodus 1.11
    3. They cried out to God but they had to wait. 
  2. God Used Moses to Deliver Israel 
    1. They had to wait for the right time. 
      1. Genesis 15 shows God telling Abraham 
      2. what would happen to his people:

        12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

        – Genesis 15.12–16
        1. Israel would become that rod of anger of God 
        2. to remove the Amorites, Canaanites, and others 
          1. who had corrupted themselves and 
          2. in the process had corrupted the land. 
    2. Finally, the time was right, and 
      1. God conscripted Moses as the man to bring Israel out of Egypt. 
      2. Exodus 3 shows God getting Moses ready:

        7 And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”

        – Exodus 3.7–8
    3. As over 3.5 million journeyed to the Land of Canaan, 
      1. God would fill all their needs. 
      2. One massive need was water. 
  3. Israel Needed Water 
    1. The first time 
      1. Exodus 17 shows Moses not knowing what to do:

        1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, “Give us water, that we may drink.” So Moses said to them, “Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?” 3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” 4 So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!” 5 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

        – Exodus 17.1–6
    2. The second time happened as they drew close to the Land of Canaan. 
      1. Numbers 20 shows the people complaining, instead of asking.

        2 Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 And the people contended with Moses and spoke, saying: “If only we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4 Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? 5 And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”

        – Numbers 20.2–5
      2. Again, the Lord told Moses precisely what to do:

        7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him. 110 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.

        – Numbers 20.7–11
        1. Moses let his anger get the best of him. 
        2. He did not keep his focus on the Lord, 
          1. not following the Lord precisely and 
          2. he hit the rock, 
            1. as before, 
            2. not speaking to it. 
  4. Moses Could Not Enter the Land of Canaan 
    1. Numbers 20 explains that Moses sinned in the sight of all Israel:

      12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

      – Numbers 20.12
    2. Deuteronomy 3 shows that later Moses pled with the Lord to no avail:

      23 “Then I pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying: 24 ‘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? 25 I pray, let me cross over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, those pleasant mountains, and Lebanon.’ 26 But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me. So the LORD said to me: ‘Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift your eyes toward the west, the north, the south, and the east; behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.”

      – Deuteronomy 3.23–27
    3. The job fell to Joshua. 
    4. However, the Lord did let Moses see the Promised Land:

      1 Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is across from Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead as far as Dan, 2 all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, 3 the South, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”

      – Deuteronomy 34.1–4
  5. Israel Went Across the Jordan 
    1. Deuteronomy 3 records the words of God to Moses for strengthening Joshua:

      28 “But command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you will see.” 29 So we stayed in the valley opposite Beth Peor.

      – Deuteronomy 3.28–29
    2. After staying there, and 
      1. after Moses died and 
      2. the children of Israel mourned the death of Moses, 
        1. Israel crossed opposite Jericho with Joshua their leader.  
        2. unfortunately I did not think to take photos at that time. 
          1. However, the Lord stopped the Jordan upstream at Adam. 
          2. He created a roughly five-mile wide opening for Israel. 
    3. Joshua 3 shows where they lodged before crossing the Jordan:

      1 Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and they set out from Acacia Grove and came to the Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they crossed over.

      – Joshua 3.1
    4. Joshua 3

      16 …that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

      – Joshua 3.16
    5. Today, the area where they crossed, 
      1. the Jordan is very small because 
      2. they are drawing so much water out of the Jordan 
        1. it looked like a creek or stream where we crossed. 
        2. Little or no water reaches the Dead Sea. 
      3. However, they are pumping water into the Dead Sea from the ocean. 


  1. God made a promise to defeat Satan in the Garden of Eden. 
  2. God chose Abraham’s family bring about that defeat. 
    1. He set them up in a land 
    2. where He could show 
      1. all His promises, prophecies, and laws. 
      2. Through Israel God would teach the world 
        1. the deadly nature of sin and 
        2. the need for a Savior. 
  3. Jumping ahead in the story, Jesus of Nazareth is that Savior.