Friday, March 21, 2008

Changing of the Guard

March 21: Deuteronomy 30-31

1 So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. 2 And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the Lord has spoken. 4 And the Lord will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Armorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. 5 And the Lord will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:1-6

Changing of the Guard

As the book of Deuteronomy draws to a close, the time has come for Moses to relinquish his leadership over the children of Israel and to hand it over to God's newly appointed leader, Joshua.

I have been pondering the transition that is about to occur for the children of Israel, especially in light of the fact that in my country this is an election year. No matter what the results of our election, we will have a new president. Even our economy seems to be in a conservative holding pattern, waiting to see how our country will fare under new leadership.

What about the Israelites? Do you think they may have been feeling especially vulnerable knowing that the conquest of their new land was just beginning, and they would be doing so under new leadership?

It seems as though Moses may have anticipated this feeling among the people, and for Joshua as well, when he spoke the following words to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7 & 8.

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. 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.”

Though this was spoken to Joshua at a very critical time for the Israelites, the message is very appropriate for us today. What about our lives? Are we approaching a time of transition? Maybe it is marriage, a new baby, purchasing a new home, starting a new career, facing a soon-to-be empty nest, the death of a spouse or family member, etc.

As you face the "Changing of the Guard" in your own life, situation, or country, pray that God will help you to ponder Moses' words to Joshua.

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.

In our ever changing world, the Christian always has the hope and support of an unchanging God!

God Bless You,

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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