Breaking the Grip of Fear – Deuteronomy 31: 1-13
Joshua Becomes Moses’ Successor
31 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 2 he said to them: “I am now one hundred twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, and the Lord has told me, ‘You shall not cross over this Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua also will cross over before you, as the Lord promised. 4 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. 5 The Lord will give them over to you and you shall deal with them in full accord with the command that I have given to you. 6 Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and bold, for you are the one who will go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their ancestors to give them; and you will put them in possession of it. 8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
The Law to Be Read Every Seventh Year
9 Then Moses wrote down this law, and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 Moses commanded them: “Every seventh year, in the scheduled year of remission, during the festival of booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people—men, women, and children, as well as the aliens residing in your towns—so that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God and to observe diligently all the words of this law, 13 and so that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.”
What does the passage say?
V. 1-4 Moses shares his last word with the people of Israel. Now 120 years old, Moses is facing the promise land, but not able to cross the river to step foot onto the land. He does promise that God is ahead of them, already in the land for preparation.
V. 5-8 Under the condition to serve God and follow God’s ways, Moses tells the people to be ‘Strong and courageous.’ He also summons Joshua to come and hear the word of God. ‘Be strong and courageous.’ We remember that God appears to Joshua, in Joshua 1, and say the same word. It means Joshua heard this word more than three times.
V. 9-13 Moses writes the Law, which contains the new covenant of God, and tells the people to follow it. He emphasizes that not only the law should be observed, but also passed on to the next generation.
What does this mean to me/us
“Be strong and courageous. Do be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” v. 6 NIV
Moses tell the people of God to follow God’s command. It also entails that obedience to God gives us the foundation to be ‘Strong and courageous.’
We will have to understand, whenever we are not in the right relationship with God, or not obedient to God’s will, we tend to forget what God has promised.
Meaning, for us to hold onto this promise, which took Joshua to understand it fully, even after hearing it more than three times in the Bible, maybe more in real life, we need to hold on God’s command.
Then God’s promise will be easier to believe. Firmly believing that God is ahead of us, in every moment of our lives.
What does this MEAN to you?
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