Moses and Joshua go to present themselves before the Lord. They have already stood before the people to pass the mantle but now they stand before God.
God appeared in person before Joshua and Moses in the Tent of Meeting. I believe this will be the last time the two men stand together before God. It is time for Moses to die.
God wants Joshua to know for a fact that Israel is going to turn their backs on Him in the future. He already KNOWS this and He is STILL going ahead with sending them into the Promised Land. This isn’t the only time that God KNOWS what is coming and STILL goes ahead. He loves us THAT MUCH!
The first time was at creation. He KNEW Lucifer would rebel before He made the first angels. He KNEW Lucifer would meet Eve in the garden and deceive her before He made the first person. He KNEW His relationship with His creation would be spoiled before He even said the first “Let there be…” STILL He said it anyway. He fashioned the angels and made Lucifer more beautiful than all the others. He made man in His own image and He gave them the garden. He grew the tree and He created the snake Lucifer inhabited.
His next group of He KNEW’s that I want to focus on came with Noah and the flood. He KNEW before He gave the first gopher tree life that hundreds of them would be harvested to protect the last living things on the face of the earth. He KNEW that when the ark landed the people would begin to go back to their sinful ways. STILL He grew the forest for Noah to harvest. He brought the animals right to the ark. He dried the land for the people to repopulate. He allowed them to amass knowledge.
Another set of He KNEW’s comes in when He calls Abram. He KNEW Abram and Sarah would try and help Him with His promises. He KNEW Abraham’s children would spend 500 years in slavery. He KNEW the people would cry out to Him while in Egypt and what it would take to bring them out. STILL He rescues Abraham every time he misstepped. He watched over each generation and brought them into safety and then waited until they got uncomfortable again and cried out to Him. He moved Heaven and Earth to bring His people out and show them His limitless power and love.
He also KNEW that everything He did along the way would be forgotten. He KNEW that first generation would never follow Him with their whole hearts. He KNEW that the promises made in the wilderness to follow Him forever would fold. STILL He continued to work His miracles for the people every time they had a need. He loved the first generation and walked with them and gave them a chance to make the right choice. He would complete His promise to Abraham through this second generation. And He would wait with outstretched arms while Israel moved from dedicated children to rebellious people.
There are MANY MORE He KNEW’s and STILL’s ahead of us in our journey. What blows my mind the most though is that He KNEW ALL OF THIS BEFORE He spoke the first words of creation for our world. STILL He spoke. STILL He gave us free will. STILL He watched as sin entered the world. STILL He moved time and Time and TIME again to bring us back to Him. He kept us close enough to Him to be ready to receive the BIGGEST He KNEW events with His Son.
Even with all that is to come with Israel, God STILL commits to bring this group into the Promised Land. I wonder what Joshua thought about this knowledge. Did his heart break for the Israel of the future? Did he wonder how far in the future this would be? Did he ask himself WHY God would even bother with them if He already knew what was going to happen? Or did he determine that it wouldn’t happen in his heart and pray that it didn’t happen in his lifetime? Did he make a promise like Peter? “I’ll die before I deny You!” Maybe he prayed for the strength to remain in God’s will for himself and all those he loved. I pray he didn’t act like king Hezekiah who was just happy that the disaster wouldn’t come in his lifetime.
God KNOWS what each of us will do before we even begin to think it. STILL He holds out His hand to us. He KNOWS that we will fail Him and fall into sin on MORE than one occasion in our lives. STILL He calls us to be His children. Because He ALSO KNOWS that we will return to Him in the end. He KNOWS it isn’t a “lost cause” but a “long way around” when it comes to our walk with Him. He KNOWS we will eventually remember our past with Him and long for those days again. I think that’s why He leaves so MANY “fingerprints” in our lives. Those events that ONLY GOD could have worked out for us. The ones that we will bring back to mind when we are in our lowest valleys. The ones that will remind us that He loves us and He is just a prayer away.
Father God there have been TOO MANY times in my life where You could have said “enough” and walked away. But You stayed and You held out Your hand again to bring me back. You KNEW EVERY ONE of these times before I was even born. STILL You called to me and held out Your hand. You told me I was Your child and that You loved me. And You asked me to love and trust You in return. THANK YOU for NEVER giving up on me. THANK YOU that You STILL hold Your hand out to me when I fall. Please help me learn and grow closer with each falling and rising so I don’t stumble as often. Thank You for still loving me!