Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Faithful to his Promise- Part 4

Faithfulness is vital characteristic of God. It is also a key component in any deep and meaningful relationship. Knowing God’s presence is an essential part of His faithfulness.

The book of Joshua begins in a context where Israel knew that God had been with Moses. Moses’ face had literally shone with the glory of God when he came down from the presence of God on Mt. Sinai. Upon Moses’ death, Joshua knew God’s presence was critical to his leadership as well as to the success of God’s plan for Israel. Joshua was in danger of trying to take upon his own shoulders the responsibility that belonged to God. Joshua had already witnessed the people’s response to Moses. Joshua needed to know that God was with him.

We can feel like Joshua. We know difficulty both from the outside as well as the inside. It’s the inside battle that looms the largest. We know what we are not. We are aware of our weakness and feelings of inadequacy. Joshua also wrestled with the fear of being alone, of losing God (Joshua 1:5). He faced the fear of wondering if people would follow him after Moses’ great leadership (vv.5-9). Joshua faced the fear of failure and the tendency toward discouragement as he recognized his weaknesses (vv.6-9). We too know that we have opposition and we need to know that God is with us. God’s presence is what makes His people distinct. Without His presence who are we? Ephesians 2:22 proclaims we are the dwelling of His Spirit. We are a people of the Spirit and Jesus sent His Spirit to fill, empower and teach us and to make real God’s presence with us.

God reassured Joshua twice by telling Joshua that He would be with him (vv. 5,9). There are two things to note about God’s assurance. Firstly, God said, “as I was with Moses, so will I be with you, I will not fail you nor forsake you” (Josh. 1:5). The Hebrew word for “fail” here means to relax or lose focus, to become distracted or drawn away. God is saying to Joshua, “I am not slack. I do not relax where my children and promise are concerned. You are at the very center of My attention.

Another noteworthy thing about God’s faithfulness is discovered in the word forsake. It means to leave, lose, forsake or neglect. Many of us lose things, perhaps our keys, a checkbook, or a cell phone. Ever wish that like your head, which you might lose if it were not attached, you could somehow attach things to yourself? What God is saying is that you are attached to Him, bound to the heart of God by cords of love. God is telling Joshua, “I’m not going to let loose of you; I’ll not forsake you.” In good and bad times we are bound to Him. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this when discussing our attitude towards material goods. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money; being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” (Hebrews 13:5).

Slow down and consider the scope of God’s assurance being expressed here to Joshua and to us. God tells Joshua that He will be with him, “wherever you go” (v.9). We are a people of movement. Wherever your feet are and wherever you step, God is saying, “I’ll be there.” There has never been a time in your life that God wasn’t there. From the day you were formed in your mother’s womb to the first day of school, every moment God has been there.

Regardless of where you are at today, God is saying, “I’m not going to take My eyes off you. I’ve bound you to Myself and in every step of your life, I’ll be there.” This is why we will inherit the Lord’s promises to us. It’s not because of us, but rather it’s because of God.

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