So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
These are final instructions Moses gives the Israelites as he’s about to die. He tells them Joshua is taking over as their leader and will help to bring them into the land God has promised them.
The Israelites' track record of trusting God isn’t stellar. Moses has led them for a long time and knows how they respond in times of stress and uncertainty.
Even though they’ve witnessed God’s power, seen the proof of His presence as He leads them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night they still struggle with issues of trust and reliance.
In times of uncertainty or stress they still become discontented and rely on things other than God to try to satisfy them.
Here are some examples:
- Making the gold calf as a tangible god to worship...Exodus 32
- Demanding meat to eat because they were tired of the mana God provided faithfully...Exodus 16
- Whining about being thirsty and needing water...Exodus 15
In Deuteronomy 31:6 Moses reminds the Israelites when things get a little crazy in the Promised Land they need to look to God for their security, not to the potential distractions around them.
It’s good advice for us today, too. When your life gets a little crazy and it's filled with stress and anxiety where do you look?
It’s easy to try to find peace or distraction in the world around us...alcohol or drugs to numb the pain, spending money in excess to boost self-esteem, sexual promiscuity to convince ourselves we're lovable. We let panic take over and cling to the first thing promising security, even if it’s false security.
We need to listen to this reminder from Moses. Throughout the Isrealites' journey God proves faithful. His presence is always there and He provides everything they need.
When we allow Him into our lives He does the same for us.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.