The Lord Goes Ahead of You [Deuteronomy 31]
1So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2And he said to them, "I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to come and go, and the LORD has said to me, 'You shall not cross this Jordan.' 3"It is the LORD your God who will cross ahead of you; He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who will cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken. 4"The LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5"The LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you."
7Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. 8"The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."
As Moses neared the end of His life God dialogued with him, preparing him for what was to come. He told Moses that it was time to hand the torch to Joshua. He even gave him a sneak preview of how the people were going to rebel against God, even though He was going before them and was going to fight for them. I think it is sweet how Moses gives encouragement first to the people and then to Joshua to "be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them." Most of his last words were proclaiming who God is. "The LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you." I pray that at the end of my life that will be my pattern also - that I die reminding everyone of what an incredible God we have.
Lord, we praise You that You are with us. We praise You that You will never fail us. You are the One who goes ahead of us and You will never forsake us. Thank You that You gave these promises even when You knew that we would be faithless. Thank You for Your tenderness toward Moses, Your servant, at the end of his life. Cause us to encourage others with these truths until the very end!