Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Lord goes before us (DT 31:1-6)

"So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. And he said to them, 'I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the Lord has said to me, "You shall not cross this Jordan." It is the Lord your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken. The Lord will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. The Lord will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.'" (Deuteronomy 31:1-6)
Much to Moses' disappointment, he would not be accompanying the children of Israel into the promised land. For forty years Moses had lead Israel though the wilderness, but now it was left to Joshua to lead the people across the Jordan and into the land of Canaan. For forty years the people had depended on Moses for their law, the dispensation of justice, leadership, and the inter-mediation between them and God, but now, on whom would the trust? While Joshua was to be their leader in Moses' place, Moses reminds them that it should not be in him or Joshua or any other leader than they should trust; their trust should be in the Lord. He reminds them that it was not Joshua or himself that was going before them, nor were they the ones to guarantee their victory in war, rather it was the Lord their God.

Moses spoke to them in a way as to encourage them not to trust in man but in God; to trust in God as their leader, protector, deliver, and provider. "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes." (Psalms 118:8-9) "Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation." (Psalm 146:3) We should ask us this question, in whom do we trust? Is our trust in our leaders and our champions or is our trust in the Lord. As in the case of Moses, if God removed our leaders would we still be able to go on? Would we be able to trust in God to lead us forward? Or would we be lost without a man (or woman) to lead and guide us? Trust in the Lord, He will go before us and lead us into victory.

David Robison

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