Devotional: September 23, 2021
In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you. Strength! Courage! You are going to lead these people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors.
Joshua 1: 5-6 The Message
God calls upon Joshua to lead the Israelites into the promised land. However, this would not be an easy task. They were going to place that none of them had been before. It would be an adventure into the unknown. Plus, they would face resistance. In other words, they would not be welcomed with open arms.
On top of this daunting task, Joshua was experiencing enormous grief. Moses has just passed away. A great leader who brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, and led them for decades in the wilderness, his passing affects every one of God’s chosen. Yet the loss is doubly hard for Joshua. Not only is he sad, but Moses’ passing leaves a vacuum of leadership. God had called upon Joshua to step up, and fill that need.
God sees Joshua’s potential as a leader, and He also knows the enormity of the task He is asking of Joshua. Therefore, the Lord assures Joshua of three things.
First, He promises Joshua that He will be with him, just as He had been with Moses. This promise of the Lord’s presence would have been a huge blessing to Joshua. It would have reassured him, for he knew that no task was bigger than his God.
Second, the Lord promises Joshua that He will never abandon him. The Lord knows that the journey to the promised land will involve both victories and setbacks. Therefore, He assures Joshua that He will never turn away from him. God is letting Joshua know that He will be faithful. He will not abandon Joshua when the going gets tough. He promises His faithfulness.
Third, God reminds Joshua that long before Joshua or even Moses had been born, He had planned to deliver the Israelites from Egypt into the promised land. Then, the Lord may a long-standing promised based upon his plans. The Lord knew the Israelites deserved their own special place. Plus, the Lord is never one to renege on His promises. Even though the promise was an old one, the Lord would be faithful to fulfill it.
While each of us faces different challenges in our lives, the same promises that the Lord gave to Joshua apply to us. God will always be with us, no matter what we face. The Almighty also promises to be there when we suffer setbacks. He will never waver. God will always be faithful to us, even if we waver in our faithfulness to him. (How many times did the Israelites question and even openly rebel against Moses and God in the wilderness?) Finally, God promises all believers His peace, His spirit, His love, and His forgiveness. Such promises can inspire anyone who call upon the name of Christ.
The good news for Joshua, and for us, is that God is faithful. He always keeps His promises…
God of all power and might,
So often, You call us to intimidating tasks. Sometimes we wonder if we have the strength to answer Your call. When we might be overwhelmed by fear, give us courage. Where we might question which way to go, grant us Your wisdom. Yet more than anything, reassure us of Your presence, and Your love. Guide us, O Thou Great Jehovah. I pray this prayer in Your holy name. Amen.