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9 December 2020 – Deuteronomy 31:1-8

So Moses continued to speak these words to all Israel. And he said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. The LORD has said to me, ‘You shall not go over this Jordan.’ The LORD your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the LORD has spoken. And the LORD will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. And the LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned 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 that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:1-8 (ESV)

What was the most common command that Jesus gave to His disciples? You might imagine that it had to do with loving one another – after all, Jesus taught a great deal about love. Yet, the command that Jesus gave most frequently to His disciples was “Fear not!” The obvious reason why Jesus chose to keep repeating this command was because the Disciples were so prone to being afraid. We are too. The world, the flesh, and the devil are dreadful enemies. If we take our eyes off of Jesus it will appear as though we have no hope of triumphing. Joshua and the Israelites were in the same boat as they gazed across the Jordon hoping to finally enter the Promised Land. What hope could a wandering nation of nomads have against well entrenched enemies? Moses points Joshua and the nation of Israel to a sure hope. It is the same certain hope that Christians have today. Three times Moses repeats that it is the LORD God who is going to cross over the Jordan with them. It may seem impossible for Israel to defeat the wicked nations in the land but it is impossible that these wicked nations, or any enemies that you face in the world this week, could prevail against the Living God. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 7
Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.