Summary: I will never leave you nor forsake you as the ‘Uninterrupted Presence of God’ in our lives. Do not ever pass any perilous comment about anyone's death. Dear Friends, do not worry about the loss you have incurred and hope you have lost, the opportunities you have missed.
Joshua 1:1-9 Be Courageous
Introduction: I greet you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God willing we will meditate under the Theme: I will never leave you nor forsake you as ‘Uninterrupted Presence of God’ in our lives. Today we are meditating the advice given by God to Joshua to “Be Courageous”. The reading of Joshua 1:1-9 has attracted me into three sentences:
Moses, my servant is dead,
Joshua, you will lead the people, and
The way to success is to read the Law.
1. Moses, my Servant is Dead (Joshua 1:1-2)
Do not ever pass any perilous comment about anyone's death. Because death is ordained for everyone on the earth and you will be no more one day on the earth. Hebrews 9:27 we read ‘ Just as man has destined to die once’. Job spoke to God: ‘I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living’ (Job 30:23). No one has power the wind to contain it. So, no one has power over the day of death (Ecclesiasticus 8:8).
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). Paul confessed boldly: ‘For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). And he further said in Romans: ‘If we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord’ (Romans 14:8).
God told Joshua that my servant Moses is dead. This statement is very shocking and disheartening to Joshua. All of us have the experience of the bereavement and grief over the loss of a dear to us. Here, the Lord does reveal to us that death is common for all. The servants of the Lord will die one day. God knows the death of all, whether it is an incident or an accident. Hence, the Challenge for us is to prepare to meet any unexpected eventuality, casualty, and death. And the aftereffects of it.
In the last five months, the worldwide statistics on death due to COVID-19 is very shocking and unacceptable for many of us. The fear of death engrossed all of us one way or the other. Death has swiped away all. The Corona Virus has taken a world tour to threaten humanity. It has not spared Kings and Queens, Doctors and Nurses, the Star Celebrities and the Politicians, the intellect and the rich, the high rank and the poor, strong men and needy, Sanitary workers, and the lowest of the society. Not only that how many Evangelists, Pastors, but Bishops around the world had also swallowed by this deadly virus. Some of them had a natural death.
Here, Moses represents as a mentor-Leader to Joshua. We may stand in the same way that all our hopes are gone. It may refer to the Job loss you are experiencing right now, the setback in business, missing an opportunity to grow or promotion, closure of the company which you have counted great, and shut doors of new avenues. Disappointment due to people whom you have trusted has betrayed you and left. Maybe your mountainous hope disappeared because of the continual lockdown.
In all these circumstances, we are reminded by God that MOSES is DEAD. God told Joshua that Moses is dead not as information but to encourage him to look beyond (John Gill). The removal of useful men should quicken survivors to be more diligent in doing good (ref:christianity.com).
Only Moses is dead, but the God of Moses never died. When I was very young, my mother died, and I was so much disturbed in my life. Then my hope was on my maternal uncle, who also died when I was a Young Adult. But my God never died and never let me down. The ways were full of thorns, but never he let me down to the bleeding feet. He has died and risen again to help in my trouble. After the death of Bishop Sagar, I felt I lost the mentor Bishop. But I was encouraged with these same words. "Andrew only Bishop has died, but the Lord of the Sagar lives to guide you and lead you."
2. Joshua will Lead the People (Joshua 1:3-6)
Dear Friends, do not worry about the loss you have incurred and hope you have lost, the opportunities you have missed. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is alive. Moses was a great liberation leader. Joshua had grown up under the mentorship and leadership of Moses. But now Moses is no more. God told him to remember the life of Moses, the promise of God to forefathers, and he has to take it to complete the mission for God.
Leaders are not going to be with us forever, but God will never leave us nor forsake us. Parents may leave us, and friends may forsake us, but God will never. The Lord reminded Joshua of the promises he has made with Abraham. He told him to get ready to go(v. 2). I will give you every place where you set your foot (v. 3). No one will stand up against you (v. 5). The Lord has said to Joshua to Lead the People to Canaan.