Daily Scripture: Deuteronomy 31:1-8
31:1 Then Moses said these words to all Israel, 2 telling them:
I’m 120 years old today. I can’t move around well anymore. Plus, the Lord told me “You won’t cross the Jordan River.” 3 But the Lord your God, he’s the one who will cross over before you! He’s the one who will destroy these nations before you so you can displace them. Joshua too will cross over before you just like the Lord indicated. 4 The Lord will do to these enemies the same thing he did to the Amorite kings Sihon and Og, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 The Lord will lay them out before you, and you will do to them exactly what the command I’ve given you dictates. 6 Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you.
7 Then Moses called Joshua and, with all Israel watching, said to him: “Be strong and fearless because you are the one who will lead this people to the land the Lord swore to their ancestors to give to them; you are the one who will divide up the land for them. 8 But the Lord is the one who is marching before you! He is the one who will be with you! He won’t let you down. He won’t abandon you. So don’t be afraid or scared!”
Numbers 27 told about Moses following God’s directions and authorizing Joshua to succeed him in leading the Israelites. As Moses neared the end of his life, he made it plain to Israel that he was not irreplaceable: “The Lord told me ‘You won’t cross the Jordan River.’ But the Lord your God, he’s the one who will cross over before you!” Moses knew he’d led in God’s power, not his own. He blessed Joshua, and urged him and the people to fearlessly trust God.
- Have you ever seen a case in which a corporate leader, a government official, a church pastor or even a family patriarch clung to power too long, harming both himself/herself and the people they had served? What kind of attitude and inner spirit does it take to recognize, like Moses, that while we have gifts to offer, only our God is irreplaceable?
- Numbers 12:3 said, “Now the man Moses was humble, more so than anyone on earth.” (Pastor Hamilton has observed that if Moses wrote that about himself, it wasn’t true!) If the first generation of Israelites had been willing to trust God and enter the Promised Land, surely Moses would have led them. Yet in his parting words, forty years later, we hear no trace of bitterness or blame. What lessons can you learn from Moses about dealing with disappointments, especially if other people have played a major role in them?
O God, help me meet all of life’s ups and downs with grace, not necessarily because I am graceful but because you are gracious. I’m not Moses—but help me to learn from him. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.