Joshua was set apart from the rest for a greater work.
We need to remember that he was human just like us. And while he was trained, I wonder if he felt ready when the call finally came. I wonder if he felt inadequate to step into Moses’ shoes. Maybe he bargained with God. Of course, we don’t know, but it’s important to note that Joshua was chosen by God. He could never have accomplished such great feats without being set apart and divinely positioned for such a task. I’m excited to advance with Joshua. I trust that God will ignite our hearts on fire and we will have plenty of truth to hold on to.
Before we advance into the book of Joshua, we need to examine one more important piece to this divinely orchestrated puzzle. Today we will spend the majority of our time in the book of Deuteronomy. This Old Testament book of the Bible is perfectly positioned between the forty-year wilderness wanderings and the entrance into their new land.
The desert living was coming to a close and God had buried a whole generation of people. As Moses gathered the nation before him (Deuteronomy 1:3), a new generation had sprung up. These would be the ones to capture God’s promise—the promise of the land He had prepared them for.
What was the purpose of this gathering, according to Deuteronomy 1:3?
As Moses spoke to the people, he knew it would be his last message. He also knew that he would not be the one to lead the people into the land. Why? Because some time back, Moses disobeyed God. He was instructed to speak to the rock so the people could drink, but by this time, Moses was annoyed and angry with the never-ending complaining and arguing. So he hit the rock instead (Numbers 20:1-12).
God then said to Moses, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them” (Numbers 20:12).
I used to feel sorry for Moses, but today I read it with new insight. He had many years under his belt as a leader. And leading God’s people was never easy. In fact, it was grueling at times. While there are always consequences to sin, something tells me that God had prepared Moses. He would enter the Promised Land, but not the one on the earth. The Land he would enter would be so much grander.
When my sister was diagnosed with cancer, she fought with everything inside her. She was only forty-three and still had many years to live. In the end though, it was obvious that God had prepared her for her death. She was ready to meet Jesus.
I think Moses was ready, too.
God had prepared him. And he joyfully finished the task God had given him as he stood before the people on this day. God moved his heart as he spoke. It was a long message. It was a message filled with instruction on what God commanded of the people once they became owners of this new place. The struggles of the desert would be behind them, and the fruitfulness of the new land would be before them. God simply didn’t want them to forget all He had done for them and fall into apathy and complacency. He wanted to be the One worshiped, not foreign idols. So Moses spoke what God told him to say.
Why do you think God chose this moment—the moment they stood on the brink of their new land—to speak these words?
Do you think we are closer to God when things are going well, or when our circumstances are daunting? Explain using a personal example.
Read Deuteronomy 32:44-47. How important was this message Moses delivered?
Does this give you any idea of the importance of the Word of God? Based on what you read, what should be our response to God’s commands?
We continue next week by looking at Joshua’s commission. I trust you are enjoying this Bible study and that you are using a notebook to write your answers.
Please share your comments in the comments section. We need to hear from you.