Have you ever had someone close to you die?
I don’t like it one bit.
Death is difficult to deal with for so many reasons.
We’re left with a feeling of emptiness and sadness.
I’m glad it’s okay to cry and grieve and morn.
There’s an interesting little verse in the first chapter of Joshua that’s rather shocking unless you begin to understand it in a bigger context. It deals specifically with death and what comes next.
The Israelites have just lost Moses. The book of Deuteronomy closes with his death and the book of Joshua begins with these words.
“My servant Moses is dead. NOW PROCEED to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites.” (Joshua 1.2, NRSV)
How’s that for compassion?
Think about this for a moment. Moses is dead. Moses.
He led the people out of slavery. Out of years of torment and oppression.
He delivered God’s law to the people.
He was their spiritual and the literal physical embodiment of a leader.
He led them to the brink of the Promised Land. A land their ancestors had been told about. A land they couldn’t wait to inhabit.
The Bible tells us he was as strong and healthy at 120 years as he ever was.
And God takes him. Boom. That’s it, that’s all.
The Andy Jones paraphrase reads like this:
“Moses is dead. Now go.” (Joshua 1.2, AJV)
Shouldn’t there be time to weep? A time to shed just one tear? Shouldn’t there be time for a little mourning?
Nope. Not according to this verse.
God is closing one chapter and immediately writing a new one.
It all seems so abrupt and harsh.
*Going back to reread the end of Deuteronomy would help paint a more complete picture. There you’ll find the Israelites mourned for 30 days before Joshua was given his new marching orders.
I still believe the verse is written this way for a reason.
It speaks to me still today.
No matter what I’ve been through, no matter what happens to me or around me, God’s plan is still taking shape and I can move forward with confidence.
My confidence is not in myself but in Him.
He is with me. He will not fail me. He will not abandon me.
I can be courageous and move forward today, now, because He is with me.
Have you lost someone or something dear to you recently?
Have you had a rough couple days? Weeks? Months? Years?
Don’t be discouraged.
Be strong and courageous.
God is with you. He will not fail you. He will not abandon you.
Moses is dead. Your past is over. It’s time to proceed.
It’s time to move forward.
Weigh-in update #3
Starting weight: 208 lbs
Current weight: 200 lbs