Every day we are facing changes at a magnitude we probably have never faced before. Change can be hard. My husband has been known to say, “I like change about as much as a root canal.” In reality, no one actually enjoys going through big changes. They can be unsettling to the mind and the body, and our emotions only follow. In times of transition, waiting or uncertainty, we secretly wonder, “What can I count on? What will stay the same?” Thankfully, the Scriptures are full of positive examples of how God successfully led His people through massive change.
Our Scripture today is an account of a significant transition Israel went through when Moses was nearing death and Joshua was being groomed to take over. The “wilderness” era was completed. The Promised Land and its huge benefits loomed before them, but the people had to take it by faith; they needed to fight to attain what God had promised them. The good news is, God did not leave His people helpless to fend for themselves. Yes, He required their obedience and participation in conquering their enemies, but He also promised that He himself would go before them to drive out their enemies and secure the beautiful land for them!
What were the Israelites feeling at this time? Certainly, they had been loyal to Moses and knew his track-record as one who lived close to God, and who helped them conquer many challenges by obeying the voice of the Lord. Would Joshua be as trustworthy as Moses had been? Joshua was an experienced warrior who had won a major battle for Israel (see Exodus 17:10-13). And it was Joshua who remained in the Lord’s presence even long after Moses had left and gone about other business as the community leader (see Exodus 33:11). It was not hard to see that this was the leader God had prepared for them. Still, their opponents seemed so large to them (see Numbers 13:33)!
God knew His people would soon face bigger challenges than they had known in the wilderness. The wilderness season had been a season of building their spiritual muscles, but also of getting rid of the old and preparing for the new. Now they had to cross the Jordan to face an unknown enemy. Though their times felt uncertain, God would surely not leave His people alone!
An older song’s lyrics say it this way: “Got any rivers you think are uncrossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible. And He can do what no other power can do…”
What about you? Are you sensing God leading you to conquer a humanly “impossible” challenge? Does it seem like all that was known to you before is now insurmountable in the shadow of looming mountains of Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 uncertainties? God’s words to Moses and the people of God thousands of years ago are the same to us today: “The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). It could be that what God is leading you to is even better than what you had expected or imagined. If God is with us, shall we then not go forth?
Today’s Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 31:1-8
By Julie Bransetter