Timeless Significance For Every Day
Devotions, Poems & Short Stories
Devotions, Poems & Short Stories
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting that I may commission him.” Deuteronomy 31:14a NASB
Anticipation, a touch of nerves, and possibly grief collided inside Moses and Joshua as they responded to the Lord’s direction, ‘present yourselves at the tent of meeting” This was the day that leadership would pass to a younger man. Because of the day Moses disappointed the Lord when the people’s continuous murmuring and unrighteous attitudes pushed hard, and Moses responded by breaking faith with Elohim in their midst, near the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin. Moses hadn’t treated the Lord as holy in Israel’s presence.1 Today Moses would gracefully relinquish his responsibility of leading God’s people to the promised land.
As they stood waiting the Lord appeared in a pillar of cloud—in the tented doorway. I can imagine my body trembling in His presence. Did they feel the same? What did Joshua expect the Lord to say? Maybe something like, you’ll be a great leader. The people will follow what I tell you, and they will build a great nation in the promised land. The land Israel had pursued for forty years.
Instead—they heard the Lord speak of Moses’s death and that Israel would arise and play the harlot with strange gods. Israel would forsake Him and break covenant with Him. This meeting and transferring of leadership sounded less and less like Joshua being commissioned to lead God’s people into the bountiful land chosen by the Creator for His special beloved people. Yet the Lord saw ahead, past their spurning His provision, love, and agreements. Past their unfaithfulness and greed. Moses was told to write a song that would be remembered by the children of Israel as a testimony against them.2 And a long song it was.
Finally, Joshua, the son of Num, is told encouragements that we and probably he had hoped for. Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you.3 Those last five words enriched his spirit for what would come! Receiving God’s promise would not be easy. If Joshua hadn’t been of excellent spirit, I’m sure he would have escaped through the tent’s rear flap. Away from the awful disappointments, pain, and betrayal revealed to him about the people he’d lead into the promised land.
Maybe you’ve been working hard for the Lord, for those you love. You’ve been waiting for the clouds to break and shed some light. Perhaps the weight of expectation vs. experience is colliding and teasing you to go the easier path. I used to think that God’s plan brought ease and obvious blessings as I journeyed. Taking God’s promised land was not an arrival of a finished destination for Israel, but a new beginning. One paved with trials because of their own desires for the gift and not the Giver. We do suffer for the faults and failures of others, but the good news is—we don’t travel the path in our own strength. It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Deuteronomy 31:8
Funny, we may think that we need to be the heavy-lifters in our God-given journey. But scripture doesn’t agree! Time and time again, the Lord clears the way before us so that we may boldly follow with amazement as His power, love, and ability to accomplish His promises prove true each time! May we ask Him for the desire to desire Him more fully in our lives. What a blessing to glorify His name!
1 Deuteronomy 32:51
2 Song of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:1 -43
3 Commissioning of Joshua, Deuteronomy 31:23
Writing devotions puts me in our Father's presence. My heart, mind, and spirit are focused on Him.