New New Promise
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
Numbers 20:7-12 ESV
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
Joshua 1:2-6 ESV
There have been times when I desperately needed remember that no matter where I go, no matter what fire I am walking through, no matter what happens, God will be right there with me.
I’ve been “@ this” for a very long while now and I can promise you that God has never failed me. Ever.
Deuteronomy 31:8 tells us, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Moses spoke these words to Israel at a time when they desperately needed to hear them.
Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and he had been with them as their leader in the wilderness for forty years.
But Moses disobeyed the Lord. We read in Numbers 20:7-12, “and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
Notice that the Lord clearly instructed Moses to TELL the rock to yield water.
But instead of commanding the rock to yield water, Moses struck the rock with his staff, not just once but twice. Because Moses disobeyed God’s explicit instructions, he was not allowed to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land.
Disobeying God in this manner was no small mishap. God clearly stated that by telling the rock to bring forth water, Moses did not hold or uphold God as Holy to the children of Israel.
Instead of delivering the children of Israel into the promised land, Moses stayed behind on the other side of the Jordan River.
In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses instructed Israel to “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
While the reason Moses stayed behind was clear, I think God knew good would come out of Moses staying behind.
The Apostle Paul’s words come to mind when he wrote in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
It’s more than interesting that Paul began that line with…”And we know”.
It’s as if Paul was telling his friends at the church in Rome…WE KNOW.
They had witnessed it.
They had seen God bring good out of bad over and over again.
In this case the good news is that because Moses didn’t lead the children of Israel into the promised land, Moses took extra time and care to remind them God would be with them.
God is Lord and He will not forsake you.
Be strong for it is the Lord who goes with you. It’s like Moses was saying, I’m not going but God is going and that’s all you need.
The truth is that the children of Israel were coming into their own…they were going to be mature in their faith.
I remember the first time I had to do something difficult on my own (as an adult) without my dad. I grew up. My dad had helped me and prepared me and now it was time for me to step up.
Moses had prepared the children of Israel and now it was time for them to step up.
He knew they were ready.
God knew they were ready.
So God was letting them spread their wings and fly.
As difficult as it is to try out our wings for the first time, it’s also exhilarating! Finding out we CAN fly is a wonderful experience.
That’s what Israel learned. When they did cross the Jordan River into the promised land, they did just fine. In Joshua 1:2-6 God told their new leader Joshua, “arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”
The children of God were finally home!
Spiritual Practice: God’s Promise
Open your hands and your heart to God’s promise to you.
In God, Deborah