For He Will Not Leave You
Open Your Bible
Joshua 1:1-18, Psalm 91:1-16, John 14:25-27
Moses my servant is dead.
I wonder what thoughts and sinking feelings were running through Joshua when he heard the Lord speak those words. Moses had been leading the people of Israel, and leading Joshua for nearly forty years. Moses was the one who stood up to Pharoah. Moses was the one who led the people out of Egypt. Moses was the one who led them year after year in the wilderness. Joshua had watched God be faithful to Moses, but now Moses was gone. Would God be as faithful to Joshua as He had been to Moses?
And then the sweet relief and comfort of the Lord’s voice. “I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5).
The same promise God had made to Moses (Exodus 3:12), He was making with Joshua. If Joshua would answer God’s call, and follow His leading, he could count on God to never let go of him.
I’ve never led an entire nation of people across rushing waters, but I do know what it is to feel insufficient for a task ahead. I know what it is for God to call me to move forward, even full of fear, and wonder if He really will stay by my side. We all know that same feeling when we step into the unknown with shaky legs—hearing the lies that ring too loud. What if I fail? What if God leaves me to fend for myself? Will He continue to be faithful, even if I get it wrong? The fear takes hold and before we know it, we can quickly find ourselves doubting God’s character.
Joshua may or may not have felt up to the task ahead of him. We aren’t privy to his thoughts or fears. But we do see God’s reassurance to Joshua—reminding him of His promise to stay by Joshua’s side. There is no safer place to be than in the shadow of the almighty God (Psalm 91:1). And if Joshua were going to lead the Israelites into the promised land, it would only be by the Lord going with him.
Joshua never could have fathomed the reality that we know on this side of the cross, and on this side of Pentecost. The parting gift of the soon-to-be-crucified Christ was the hope that, even after His departure, God would send the Holy Spirit as counselor and comforter (John 14:26). The same Spirit of God that never left Moses or Joshua has taken up residence in each of us who are children of God. With the very presence of God working in and through us, we can never be separated from our Father.
So, take heart, child of God, for He will not leave you or abandon you.
Not in your failure or faithlessness.
Not in your doubts or disappointments.
Not in your wounds or wanderings.
We do not have to fear our Father leaving us, because all Scripture reminds us that He never has, and the hope of eternity is that He never will.