Moses has been faithful.
He has sacrificed a lot.
God has used him to effect some of the mightiest miracles of history.
He will be revered by Jews and Christians through the ages.
Yet here he is, toward the end of his life. God is telling him what will happen, although it does not happen for a while. He will get to SEE the land that the people are to possess and live in, but he will not get to GO to it.
Wow! After all the dust, and the complaints, and the desert, and the rebellions... He does not get to actually go into the land. And why?
"When you've had a good look you'll be joined to your ancestors in the grave—yes, you also along with Aaron your brother. This goes back to the day when the congregation quarreled in the Wilderness of Zin and you didn't honor me in holy reverence before them in the matter of the waters, the Waters of Meribah."
He didn't honor God in holy reverence. He became accustomed to being used by God, and almost started acting as if the power were HIS. He was tired and he was angry. He was sick and tired of the people complaining. I seem to be able to make lots of excuses for him, but God does not. He disobeyed, and he dishonored God.
I had to go back and read the original story again. Here it is...
The LORD said to Moses, 8 "Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."
9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD's presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must WE bring you water out of this rock?" 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.
12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."
So Moses does not get to go into the land of Caanan. He does not get to have an heir to take over leadership in his name.
He is going to die.
On top of the mountain.
An old man.