“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 yoorbor forsake you,” (Joshua 1:5 ESV).
Imagine trying to be the shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls after Jordan retired. Even if you are the second best basketball player to ever play the game, you’re still not good enough. That’s the position Joshua is in at the beginning of the aptly named book of Joshua. Israel has just buried Moses, one of the most dominant characters in the OT. He met God in a burning bush. He led the Israelites out of Egypt. He was a part of God parting the Red Sea. He physically saw God’s back from the cleft of the mountain. He
delivered the 10 Commandments. And Joshua has to take his place.
Joshua has to lead the people into a foreign land. He has to lead the army to conquer this territory. He has to be in charge of the spiritual walk of an entire nation. His obstacles and responsibilities are immense. But as he takes charge, God makes him a promise. “I will be with you.” At the end of the day, if God is with him, he is able to overcome any obstacle. He can conquer any opposition with God at his side.
And God is on our side as well. He will not leave us or forsake us.
10 thoughts on “Promises Pt. 15”
Abandonment is one of the most devastating, gut-wrenching things to happen to a person. It is that fear that keeps people in abusive relationships. I just spoke to a person last night who said she would rather stay and suffer abuse than to be alone.
God’s promise here goes so much deeper than knowing He will never leave us. Not only will He stick around, but He will never turn His affection away. He will not forsake us even when we’re intolerable and unlovable. He is FOR us, and has an unlimited supply of mercy and forgiveness.
His presence is what sustains those who are exhausted from keeping watch at the bedside of a loved one teetering on the brink of life and death, and those who are grieving for loved ones they’ve already lost through death or divorce or abandonment.
His presence gives me hope and joy and purpose, and is the strength that guides me through darkness and pain. Sometimes it is only God’s promise to be with me that keeps me sane and functioning in a crazy, mixed-up world.
But most of all, God’s promise to Joshua was fleshed out in Jesus (Immanuel–God with us!) and made available to the whole world. I’m putting my name at the end of this promise: “I will be with you, Brenda.” Wow, that takes my breath away!
For the last year, I have considered writing a book called “Being Joshua”. After reluctantly taking a leadership role over the youth group at my church, I have had to rely more and more on God’s promises. There was never any question that I was called to the position by God. There was however, question in my own mind, as to whether or not I could actually accomplish the job….whether or not I was worthy of the position.
For years I had only been a support person…someone who helped facilitate activities and occasionally stepped in to lead in the absence of the “real” youth pastor. Suddenly, I was thrust into the role of leadership with a chaotic series of events that left me questioning my worth for the position–I too, felt abandoned. My best friend/spiritual mentor had been taken six hours away–but, I still had God, who promised to always remain faithful in my life.
I apologize for going off on a bit of a tangent in the way of a personal testimony, but I have held on to the story of Joshua and how God was able to use him–not because he was worthy, but because God called him and worked through him–and because GOD is almighty and all powerful!
Ah yes, Joshua wasn’t Moses, but the same God that led Moses was leading Joshua. That’s all that really mattered. Although, it may have taken a little while for the people, and maybe even Joshua, to know that. Or maybe it didn’t. And…I believe I have the answer to one of my other (completely unrelated questions) in this blog of yours as well. Blessings, Tess
God is indeed all powerful and through Him nothing is impossible. Without Him we are doomed in so many ways, but with Him we are completely safe and have the promise of everlasting life. He is also always there for us. Given the results of each side, folowing Him seems like the easiest choice we can ever make. Why then, is it sooooo easy for us to turn from Him? Why is it so hard for us to trust Him and Him alone? What could possibly be more important?
I tend to idnetify with Joshua, in that I’m a “middle child”; I always have the feeling that I’m not quite as good as my older brother (usually because I’m always being compared to him, called by his name….). The best thing I ever heard came from a Sunday School Teacher I had when I was a teenager; He told me that all I can do, is all I CAN do and allow Christ to finish what He started, including what “I can do”.
You know the question “What would you do if you met a celebrity?” or “Which famous person would you want to meet?” I think of actors and actresses who I like, then I think, They’re just regular dudes. Honestly, I can’t see myself getting all flustered in front of Harrison Ford or somebody. I’d be like, “What’s up Han Solo” then walk on. But can you imagine meeting a man like Moses? Or Abraham, or David? I wouldn’t know what to do except to just be quiet and listen to him. Imagine the presence of these men, holding so much responsibility and importance on their shoulders. It’s hard to fathom the intensity of Joshua’s experience after Moses passed on. The weight he held for Israel.
“He will not leave us nor forsake us.” These words are great to lean on. When we look back so many thousands of years at Joshua, we wonder what he was doing, what would we have done were we following in the footsteps of Moses. Did we ever stop to consider the thought that Joshua wasn’t thinking anywhere beyond the present moment? I think he knew the kind of man he was following; I think he was also very well aware of the weight of the responsiblility he had been given, and for this reason: he jsut wanted to survive the moment! Find a way to get through any given crises and not screw it up! In my own life, I have one great dream, I want to be able to go before God and say: “I got one right!”
The words “He will never leave us nor forsake us ” takes on a new meaning when you step into the kind of responsibility that Joshua did!
Will we ever be able to say “I got one right”?
In Response to Bryce; YES! The first time is when I come to Him and invite Him to be Lord of my life; After that…..shot in the dark!
Indeed, a very good point! And only through that will we get anything right.