Mount Nebo

Our last stop for the Holy Land Pilgrimage was Mount Nebo. Mount
Nebo rises between 700-800m above sea level. Though it has many peaks,
the two most significant peaks are Siyagha (also known as Pisgah) and
Mukhayyat (also known as the town of Nebo).

The town of Nebo was previously under the control of the Moabites and
Israelites. The major discovery of the Moabite Stone talks about how
King Mesha recaptured the town from the Israelites. “Next Chemosh said
to me: Go take Nebo from Israel. So I went by night and fought against it
from break of dawn till noon and I took it and slew all in it…” The
rebellion and subsequent defeat of King Mesha’s army is recorded in the
Scriptures in 2 Kings 3, which we humbly direct all to read.

The pilgrims took a bus all the way up to Siyagha or Pisgah, where the
memorial of Moses was built. The pilgrims braved the heat as they went
down the bus and were soon treated to a magnificent sight. Despite the
hazy weather, we saw the plains of Moab of the Trans-Jordan region
stretching all the way to the North. We also saw the Jordan River, Jericho
and the Jordan Valley. We even managed to catch a glimpse of Jerusalem
as well as the Galilean region. It was truly a sight to behold and served as
a great summary and reflection of all the places we have visited during the
pilgrimage. This was the sight which Moses saw when he climbed Pisgah
before he was taken home to be with the Lord. “And Moses went up from
the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is
over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead,
unto Dan, 2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh,
and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 3 And the south, and the
plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. 4 And the
LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto
Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused
thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” (Deut.
34:1-4) We would have seen this sight if the weather had been clear.
Perhaps next time, the Lord being willing.

Moses died after he had seen this sight. His death was recorded with a
bitter-sweet statement. “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old
when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” (Deut.
34:7) The statement is sweet when we consider how Moses was still full
of health, wisdom and strength even at the age of 120. This was the
Lord’s grace upon him as he led the children of Israel in the wilderness
for 40 years. Moses also used his strength well to serve the Lord, leading
to the Lord’s assessment of Moses as a servant who is faithful in all His
house (Num. 12:7; Heb. 3:2, 5). We must do the same for the Lord with
the strength and health he has given us.

Nevertheless, verse 7 is also a bitter statement. If Moses had such strength
and health, why is he not leading the children of Israel across the Jordan
to conquer the land he had just seen. This was because he failed to give
God the glory when he smote the rock instead of speaking to the rock for
water. “And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before
the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you
water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he
smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the
congregation drank, and their beasts also.” (Num. 20:10-11) Who is the
one who fetched water from the rock? It was not Moses and Aaron, but
the LORD. Thus, the LORD concluded, “Because ye believed me not, to
sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not
bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” (Num.
20:12) This is a grave lesson for us too, that we must never fail to give
God the glory in our lives. May every moment count for the Lord Jesus

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

Introduction to the Book– In Times Like These

A Study of the Book of Jeremiah

We have begun our study on the Book of Jeremiah in the Church Bible
Study on Friday. Welcome all to come and learn from this precious book
which the Lord has inspired and preserved for our learning.

Here is a shortened and edited introduction found in Rev. Timothy’s
Commentary of the Book of Jeremiah.

“Josiah was the last good king to rule the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
His birth was predicted 300 years before (I Kings 13:2). He was
predestined to the difficult task of reforming the religious life of the nation
when it would sink to an all time low. Instead of serving Jehovah the Lord
their God, Judah had turned the Temple into a Synagogue of Satan. We
can read of the beginning acts of Josiah’s Reformation in II Chronicles 34:1-7.

“As goes the Church, so goes the nation. Despite Josiah’s acts of
uprooting the deep idolatry into which the people of God had sunken, the
moral life of the nation was far from being purged of its filth and
degradation. To help the good king God raised up Jeremiah in the 13th
year of his reign (Jeremiah 1:1,2).

“If there is a heart-rending job given to a servant of God, it is the
commission of fighting the hydra-headed monster of evil and corruption
during the last days of Jerusalem, now become a mother of harlots
— the reigns of good king Josiah’s wicked sons, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah.

“For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and
brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against
the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of
the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail
against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver
thee” (Jeremiah 1:18-19). Inasmuch as Jeremiah was known as the
weeping prophet against all the pollutions and abominations of Judah,
here is captured a dark and mirky picture of those times by a poem
excerpted from the pen of William Cowper:

The prophet wept for Israel, wished his eyes
Were fountains fed with infinite supplies;
For Israel dealt in robbery and wrong;
There were the scorner’s and the slanderer’s tongue;
Oaths, used as playthings or convenient tools,
As interest biased knaves, or fashion fools;

Adultery, neighing at his neighbour’s door;
Oppression, labouring hard to grind the poor;
The partial balance and deceitful weight;
The treacherous smile, a mask of secret hate;
Hypocrisy, formality in prayer,
And the dull service of the lip were there.

He saw his people slaves to every lust,
Lewd, avaricious, arrogant unjust;
He heard the wheels of an avenging God
Groan heavily on the distant road;
Saw Babylon set wide her two-leaved brass
To let the military deluge pass;

Jerusalem a prey, her glory soiled,
Her princes captive, and her treasures spoiled;
Wept till all Israel heard his bitter cry,
Stamped with his foot, and smote upon his thigh;
But wept, and stamped, and smote his thigh in vain,
Pleasure is death when told of future pain,

And sounds prophetic are too rough to suit
Ears long accustomed to the pleasing lute;
They scorned his inspiration and his theme,
Pronounced him frantic, and his fears a dream;
With self indulgence winged the fleeting hours,
Till the foe found them, and down fell the towers.

“A people beyond redemption, Jeremiah became also their prophet of
doom. The punishment of a rebellious people was sealed by their own wil-
ful acts. (O, if only they would repent! There’s always mercy with the
Lord.) Judah must be conquered by the Babylonians and her people taken
into captivity. This was Jeremiah’s message all along until the Day of
Judgment came, after a 20-year siege, from 606 BC to 586 BC when the
City and Temple were burnt to the ground.

“Yet, as they were a covenanted people, God sent Ezekiel and Daniel to
go along with the Jewish captives to Babylon, while Jeremiah was
retained to live with the Remnants in the land. Jeremiah served for 40
years with his people, even with the frightened Remnants who tried to
escape Nebuchadnezzar’s sword by fleeing into Egypt. Abducted by his
own people, Jeremiah still served as their mediator with Jehovah their
God to the very end. Jeremiah stands at the very forefront of the
Prophetic order so that Christ was thought to be Jeremiah returned from
the dead (Matthew 16:14).”