Have you ever felt full of fear, with no idea how to move forward? This is where we found Joshua as David continued our Deuteronomy series this morning, beginning with Moses’ words of encouragement to Joshua before he entered the promised land…
Moses was calling Joshua to remember God’s faithfulness in the past and therefore to take confidence that He will be faithful in the future. When we feel stuck, recalling God’s faithfulness in the past will give us confidence for the future.
Moses recalled the defeat God gave the Israelites over the two kings, Sihon and Og, to display God’s faithfulness. As well as demonstrating God’s faithfulness, the defeat of Sihon and Og also raises some other issues. Firstly, despite God’s promise to defeat Sihon and Og, the Israelites still had to obey God. We too cannot be passive when it comes to God’s will and plan for our lives. God has a divine will, but we also have a part to play. This is seen in the previous chapter:
Secondly, David didn’t shy away from the uncomfortable fact that these two battles resulted in complete genocide of Heshbon and Bashan. He noted that there are a few surface-level explanations for this, including the context of brutality at that time and the issue of justice being delivered to wicked people. However, David highlighted that more importantly it raises the issue of whether we can accept the mystery surrounding God, as we can never completely understand God. He noted that all scripture is God-breathed and therefore we cannot dilute or change this image of God to make ourselves more comfortable. The God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament. He is a God of both love and justice. It remains a challenge to us: can we embrace a degree of mystery surrounding God?
At the end of Deuteronomy 3, after calling Joshua to trust in God, Moses pleads with God to let him go into the promised land…
However, God answered saying…
God said no to Moses’ plea. This raises an important question: are we willing to accept God’s answer to our prayers, even if it is no? This encounter reminds us of Moses’ failure. It was because of his disobedience that he could not enter the promised land. David said this demonstrates how Christian leaders can fail. However, even in their failure, it is not final. With God, failure is never final. God never abandoned Moses, even in the wilderness, God was with Moses:
This shows us that failure does not lead to abandonment. Even in our seasons of spiritual wilderness, God is with us every step of the way. We may fail God, but He will never fail us.
David left us with two takeaway points:
- Remember, trust, and move on.
- When leaders fail, pray, and look up.
- Recall God’s past faithfulness in your life.
- At the end of each day this week, write down 3 ways God has been faithful to you.
- Listen to ‘Goodness of God’