Page 3 - November 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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e’s gone. She’s gone. They’re gone.  raised Him up for the work at hand. Israel
               Now what? What will we do with-  had witnessed God’s power in bringing
        Hout their presence? How will we  them out of Egypt. They would see it again
        make it without her prayers? How will we  shortly as they entered the promised land.
        survive without his wisdom? These were  As the Red Sea miraculously opened to
        likely the same kind of questions racing  lead them out, so would the Jordan River
        through the minds of God’s people after  miraculously open to bring them in. The
        receiving the news that Moses, the Lord’s  sudden removal of Moses and his rod
        servant, was dead. At such a pivotal mo-  did not withdraw God’s power from His
        ment in Israel’s history, standing on the  people.
        outskirts of Canaan, facing impenetrable   Finally, the people would be heartened
        cities with powerful enemies, how could   to know that they still had God’s presence.
        they go on without Moses? Yet, the answer   The Lord said to Joshua, “As I was with
        came: “Moses my servant is dead. Get   Moses, so I will be with you. I will not
        ready! Cross the Jordan River. Lead these   abandon you or leave you alone” (v5b).
        people into the land” (Jos 1:2).     Similar words were once spoken by the
          Notice, first, that Israel still had God’s  Lord to an objecting, excuse-ridden man
        Word. The previous verse notes that these   whom the Lord called to begin this whole
        words were spoken by the Lord to Joshua.   journey – Moses. Obviously, it was God’s
        The people did not have to sit in silence   presence, not Moses’ presence, that brought
        wondering what to do next. God still spoke   them thus far and would lead them still.
        to His people, only now through Joshua,   All over the world, great men and
        and verse eight tells us they had the “law   women of God, indeed His servants, have
        scroll” with them, which Joshua (and the   been taken away from us. But we must
        people) should read, memorize and obey.   move forward, appreciating the promise
        The absence of Moses’ voice didn’t remove   that the Lord is with us. The same promise
        the voice of God.                    made to Joshua is given to us (Heb 13:5).
          It also became immediately clear that   Yes, death has robbed us of so much that
        Israel still had God’s promise. The Lord said,   is precious – but not everything. There are
        “I am handing over to you every place you   still some things that death cannot take
        set foot, as I promised Moses” (v3). This   away. We still have God’s Word and His
        land was “solemnly promised [to] their   promises to guide, instruct and encourage
        ancestors” (v6). Funerals cannot take away   us. We still have His power and presence
        the promises of God to His people.   to sustain us in all our weakness and need.
          It would encourage Israel to know that   And even those whom death has removed
        they still had God’s power. Joshua was told,   have only just changed locations. We have
        “No one will be able to resist you all the   not lost them. They have simply crossed
        days of your life” (v5a), not because of any   over Jordan by God’s direction to the land
        inherent power in Joshua, but because God   that is fairer than day and where we will
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the NET.  meet them on that beautiful shore.

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