This morning I read Moses’ farewell speech, if you will. The Israelites were going to enter the Promised Land without their leader. Moses had taken them as far as God was going to permit him to go. Moses prepares them, with a talking to, as he truly knew the nature of the people. He said something that stopped me dead in my tracks:
So be strong & courageous! Do not be afraid & 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
Moses recognized that the people had a tendency to be afraid. He also knew that the days ahead would demand them to be strong & courageous. He knew they would be facing the unknown. They would come up against people that would cause them to fear & wonder just where God was taking them.
As I read this, I wondered….
Who is the “them” in my life, in our lives?
For you see, we all have a “them”. That person, or persons, that causes us to be afraid, to feel intimidated, that raises insecurities in us, that resurrects doubts. Is our “them” really any greater than the “them” which the Israelites faced?
The Israelites were able to move forward, not denying their fear, but in the knowledge & awareness of three things:
- “For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you.” They knew Who was going ahead of them. They knew that God was personally with them. And we need to know that as well. Our God is with us & He is for us.
- “He will not fail you.” Moses was assuring the people of God’s care for them. God would not fall short of what He had promised. God was not in any way deficient or lacking. Our God will not fail us either.
- Our God “will not abandon you.” God was not going to abandon His people. He made a covenant with them & He is faithful to do that which He has promised. Neither will He abandon us.
This same promise is repeated in Hebrews 13:5 which says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (NIV). The interesting thing is that in the Greek, it is a triple negative, which we do not have in the English language. So it would read, “No not never will I leave you, no not never will I forsake you.” (New American Commentary). God is emphatic in promising us that He will always remain with us.
Today may we rise up & take Him at His Word. And may we not be afraid of “them“.
Remember: “No. Not. Never.”