“Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, … ‘It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
For decades Joshua had been Moses’ right hand man. Now God announced that Moses would die and Joshua was to succeed him. He had to “go out before the people,” into the promised land. But he was not alone. Three times we read the assurance that the Lord God Himself would be with Joshua. He would go out before him, as the ultimate Leader of the people. Therefore, Joshua did not need to fear.
Joshua was very well prepared for his task. He knew the people, he had observed Moses leading them for years, and he knew the directions God had given. And yet, he did not feel strong enough to do this job alone. Incidentally, the same was true of Moses. He too needed the Lord to come with him: “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). Centuries later, Jesus assured His disciples who were to spread the Gospel: “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Moses and Joshua needed the assurance that God was with them. Are you similarly conscious of your need of the LORD’s guidance and presence? Perhaps especially when facing a difficult task, but also in your daily life? How does God’s presence make a difference?