Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 31.7-8
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Reflection: Facing “No”
By Carina Bruno
I’m a stubborn person who’s determined to complete any given task. This trait plays out in my faith because I always want to be physically doing something for God. I want to play a role in carrying out His will. I often wait for the next “big task” he will give me. I want to complete the entire thing all on my own.
Moses was given a sizable task to complete. He was instructed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. After partially completing his work, Moses’ plan came to a halt when God told him the work would be fulfilled through someone else. The task would be passed on to Joshua.
One of the most difficult, universal human experiences is facing the word “no” from someone in authority. It affects us strongly because we must surrender our original plans to new plans. We tend to think that our loss generates another’s gain, and our selfish hearts struggle to let go.
Moses, however, doesn’t react in a way that is jealous or demeaning. He does the opposite. He encourages Joshua to valiantly complete the work of the Lord. He reminds Joshua that the Lord “goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Dt. 31.8) This verse reveals Moses’ conviction to humbly encourage others to do work he cannot do himself. Reading this verse, we should be strengthened to do the same.
Perhaps someone surpassed you in a competition, or a coworker has been assigned to finish your task. Perhaps God has changed your circumstances, or has called you to a different church.
Whatever the reason, God is using others to bring his will to fruition. We ought to encourage those people to be courageous in their work, because God does not abandon his people (Isaiah 41.10).
God did not abandon Joshua as he finished leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. God also did not abandon Moses, when his portion of the task was complete. God will not abandon you in a season of newness, and he certainly will not abandon you after a season is complete.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
All your works praise you, O Lord, and your faithful servants bless you.
They make known the glory of your kingdom and speak of your power;
That the peoples may know of your power and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. — Psalm 145.10-12
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
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