With all the cancellations, postponements, and general upheaval of schedules thanks to Covid-19, we’ve probably all been wanting to think about “sure things.” (Even Tax Day has moved this year!) Deuteronomy 31:1-8 mentions some “sure things” that can anchor us.
First, look at the context of this passage. Moses was saying goodbye after having led Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. Losing Moses as their leader was monumental for the Israelites. So, as Moses said his goodbyes, he reminded them:
Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the Lord said. And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:1-8)
God was saying through Moses… Keep moving forward, because I am going to do with this next challenge exactly what I did with that last, big challenge – defeat it.
Moses knew what the people were like. He knew how difficult it would be for Joshua to lead the Israelites, but instead of just telling the younger man to do his best, Moses said: Whatever you do – remember that God is with you. No matter how bitter the water or how big the desert or how scary the giants… He’s with you.
Every aspect of life is changing as we face this health crisis. People are nervous. It can be disturbing just because of the many small details the pandemic changes. But the Biblical promise has never been that life won’t change. It’s that God won’t change. He was with you and me yesterday, and He was with our heroes of the faith in the old days, and God will still be with us when we get to meet face-to-face again – whenever that will be.
Matthew Henry wrote, “Through God, let us do valiantly, for through Him, we shall do victoriously.”
I want to be valiantly victorious. How about you?
Michelle Avery, NBC Academic Affairs Administrative Assistant
Filed Under: Communicator Published: 03/30/2020