Perhaps the most poignant lesson Moses teaches on the last day of his life is that it is never too late to get right with others and with God.
Recall in the Biblical story that God had punished Moses for striking the rock to draw water instead of speaking to it. Because of this, Moses would not accompany the people into the land.
So, what does Moses do in his final oration to the people? He speaks before the great Rock! God is indeed called Tzur in this text, the Rock. And Moses draws forth the very finest water for the people.
What’s the water he draws with his speech? It is, I think, the living nourishment that quenches our needs, both physical and especially spiritual.
How does the water flow? As the text explicitly describes, it flows in ways that can sustain each and every one of us.
For the young and those new to it, the water comes gently as soft rain or dew. For those, like growing grass, who are ready for more, it comes as a steady rain. And for those who are the most firmly rooted, as sturdy trees or strong vegetation, it comes in pelting, penetrating showers.
We forever treasure Moses’ final instruction mostly because it guides and sustains our living in covenant with God and community.
Yet, it is with a special sweetness and love, that we value Moses’ gift for another reason. We see in his speech the lesson that it is never too late to turn back to God. However we’ve fallen short, and whatever amount of time we have left, we can serve God and others in ways that are even more consequential than when we earlier missed the mark.
Of all the remarkable personal legacies Moses left us, this may be his finest.
It’s never too late.