Moses’ Farewell – Deuteronomy 31 - 34

This story marks the end of an era; after 40 years of leading the people of Israel, God is calling Moses to his final resting spot. After prevailing over so many trials and tribulations, you might expect that this final chapter of Moses’ life would feel like a victory lap, but it doesn’t for at least two reasons. 

First, we learn that Moses will not be permitted to enter the Promised Land. Why? Because he and Aaron did not uphold God’s glory in front of the people. Moses had been instructed to speak to a rock and bring forth water, but instead he hit the rock (Num. 20). It seems like a small difference to us, but God was focused on Moses’ heart. Moses broke faith with God and took glory that belonged to God (32:51). This is significant because it reminds us that no one is perfect, not even Moses, who served God faithfully in so many circumstances. Because we’re all sinners, we all need a Savior. This teaches us how important God’s glory is to Him and how important it should be to us. We have to ask ourselves, “How often do I not give to God the glory that is due Him?”

Another point of sadness is when God tells Moses that after the people enter the Promised Land, they will forsake Him (31:16). How hard that must have been for Moses to hear after all he had done to help the people successfully serve God and reach the Promised Land! But at God’s urging, Moses teaches the people a song, which prophesies the people’s unfaithfulness and God’s judgment, but also God’s compassion and mercy (32:36). This is our story, too. We are unfaithful, yet God is always faithful, forgiving, and compassionate, and this is why we are desperate for a Savior.

As a final item, note in Moses’ final instructions how important it is for the people to hear God’s Word and especially, for them to teach their children about the Lord (31:13). It’s still so important for us to teach our children about the Lord. (What a great reminder for us who are parents and grandparents!) It’s a wonderful privilege and a weighty responsibility to help children learn who their God is and why they can love and depend on Him!!


Activity – Write Notes

  • How do you think the people felt when they learned Moses would no longer be traveling with them and leading them?
  • God blesses us when He gives us great leaders. We also have great leaders at our church. 
  • Guide kids in writing notes of thanks and appreciation to our church pastors: Pastors Adam, Reeves, Daniel, Will


  • What did this story teach you about God? 
  • He sees everything – even what is inside our hearts!
  • God is perfectly just, so everyone is judged fairly by Him.
  • He is faithful and compassionate.
  • God wants us to teach children to know and fear Him.

  • What did this story teach you about people? 
  • People are unfaithful and sinful.
  • All people sin and deserve punishment for their sins.
  • People should teach their children about God.

  • What did you learn about yourself? 
  • God can see my heart.
  • God knows I am a sinner and that often I put myself ahead of Him.
  • I deserve to be punished for my sins, but thanks to Jesus, I can experience God’s compassion, mercy, and forgiveness instead.
  • I want to be part of teaching children to love and fear God.