“And I pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours? Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me. And the Lord said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan. But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’ So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
Being the savior of your people is a tough gig. You have to be perfect. This is God’s perspective on Moses. He is not just a man. He is an archetype. He is a foreshadowing of Jesus, the sinless son of God. When he disobeyed God in that small matter of striking the rock, it was an act of disobedience that disqualified him from being that I’m age of Christ.
From Moses’perspective, it seems harsh. Moses even blames it on the people. “But the Lord was angry with me because of you and would not listen to me.” But God is holy, and sin has it’s consequences. Of course, Moses will still be a revered patriarch. He will one day meet with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration. But he falls short of the glory of God, like the rest of us. We all get bitten on the backside by some imprudent action or sin. But not Jesus, who dies as a perfect, sinless sacrifice.