Maintaining Continuity

Key Verse: “The LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”
—Deuteronomy 31:8

Selected Scripture:
Deuteronomy 31:1-8; 34:5-9

MOSES WAS NEARING THE end of his life. Although a faithful servant of the Lord in leading the nation of Israel for a period of forty years, yet because of disobedience at the waters of Meribah (Num. 20:7-13) he was not permitted to cross the Jordan River or to enter the land of promise. (His age was a deterrent, also.) Indeed, God told him, “Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.”—Deut. 31:2

God had instructed Moses that Joshua, the son of Nun, would be the one to take the staff of leadership from Moses and lead the Israelites over Jordan and into the land of Canaan. Even though the ‘wilderness’ experiences of the people were about to end, yet many more tests of their faith and reliance upon God would come in the ensuing years after the departure of Moses.

Knowing this, Moses provided words of encouragement to the people. He reassured them that God would go before them, and would destroy all those nations who might stand in the way of their occupation of the land promised to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (vss. 1-5) He continues, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”—vs. 6

After speaking to the people in general, Moses then focused his words specifically upon Joshua, telling him to be strong and of good courage, that it is he whom God had chosen to take the people into the land sworn to their fathers. (vs. 7) Moses wanted to be sure that there was no misunderstanding on the part of any as to who would be the human agency God intended to use to lead them after his death.

Then, to give further reassurance to Joshua, he said: “The Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.”—vs. 8

Shortly after giving these final words of encouragement to Joshua, Moses died at the age of 120 years, his physical senses functioning strongly to the very end of his life. As Deuteronomy 34:7 states: “His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.” As we focus on the privileges we have to serve God and his eternal purposes, it is also important for us to realize the need to be of comfort and encouragement to others in the way—particularly those whose years of experience are fewer in the Lord’s service than ours.

We should be quick to point out to them, just as Moses did to Joshua, that God will be with them. He will destroy those enemies of the New Creature which would seek to harm them, and that they should be strong and of good courage. Therefore all should claim the promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”—Heb. 13:5

“If [Since] God be for us, who can be against us?”—Rom. 8:31

Dawn Bible Students Association
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