I'll be With You
"No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you."
(Joshua 1:5 NKJV)
Joshua was "the one who helps", that is, an assistant to Moses, his deputy. A person dedicated to service, who for a long time was in the shadow of the leader of Israel, learning meekness and submission. God had previously spoken to him through Moses (Numbers 27:18). He had entered the meeting tent, had consulted the High Priest's breastplate several times, but now we need more. Now that Moses is gone, Joshua takes charge of the general administration and command of the army, bearing in mind the complex and overwhelming work carried out by his predecessor. For a long time he had been prepared for this moment, assimilating from Moses' example of rare fidelity to his God. In his heart and mind will echo the words of his master, set aside at the very last mile of the voyage. He thus discovers that God is not bound by anyone. And now that it's his turn, he needs a word from above. Faced with the responsibility that falls upon him, under the weight of those who entrust themselves to him, encouragement is the lifeblood. Not only that, the call needs divine confirmation. And here at the right moment, "the Lord spoke to Joshua".
What can encourage more than knowing that God will not let him be missing at your side? When the others are ready to turn around, as happened with Moses, and to abandon you, He will not. Joshua is immediately reassured that there will be no different or inferior quality treatment, the guarantee is clear and precise: “as with Moses”. Although he was far from the wisdom and grace of Moses, although he did not have his ability as a mediator, God will not leave him alone, nor will he abandon him. We constantly need the presence of God, to know him by our side even in the continuation, to be able to continually draw from his help, the only one capable of making people irresistible and invincible, because nothing and no one will be able to resist before those who have God on their side (Romans 8:31). Even without Moses, there are certain and irrefutable truths: the kingdom of Israel would have been marked by triumphs and Joshua would have divided the territory among the people. The work completed up to that day would be completed, and knowing that one's effort was not in vain fuels zeal and passion.
To go to the bottom, the new conductor is ordered: “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go” (v. 7). First of all, the determination for what needs to be done, bringing out the best of oneself to face battles and challenges. On several occasions one hears in a crescendo "be strong and very courageous". Joshua had repeatedly shown his worth as a warrior, but now he needs more courage to replace a man of the thickness of Moses, because fear and dismay are around the corner every day. Sometimes when you carry out an assignment you are prey to discouragement and moving forward resolutely seems an impossible task. The secret lies in not trusting in one's own strength, but in anchoring one's action to the law. There will never be victory if our courage is not fueled by the word of the Lord. There will be no commitments and occupations such as to exempt us from meditation, necessary for our daily encounter with God. The theory must then be followed by practice, in walking uprightly without tending to extremes or favoring comfortable deviations. In doing so, wherever you go, not only will you not be alone and God will not abandon you, but you will see the fruit of his presence and blessing along the way.
Weekly Bible Reading
July 26, Psalms 40-42; Acts 27:1-26
July 27, Psalms 43-45; Acts 27:27-44
July 28, Psalms 46-48; Acts 28
July 29, Psalms 49-50; Romans 1
July 30, Psalms 51-53; Romans 2
July 31, Psalms 54-56; Romans 3
August 01, Psalms 57-59; Romans 4