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“So be strong & courageous! Do not be afraid & do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NLT)
The Israelites were going to enter the Promised Land without their leader, for Moses had taken them as far as God was going to permit him to go. Moses prepares them, with a talking to, as he truly knew the nature of the people.
Moses recognized that the people had a tendency to be afraid. He also knew the days ahead would demand them to be strong and courageous as they faced the unknown. They would come up against people that would cause them to fear and wonder where God had taken them.
The Israelites were able to move forward, not denying their fear, but in the knowledge and awareness of three things:
- “For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you.” They knew Who was going ahead of them. They knew that God was personally with them. And we need to know that as well. Our God is with us and He is for us.
- “He will not fail you.” Moses was assuring the people of God’s care for them. God would not fall short of what He had promised. God was not in any way deficient or lacking. Our God will not fail us either.
- Our God “will not abandon you.” God was not going to abandon His people. He made a covenant with them and He is faithful to do that which He has promised. Neither will He abandon us.
We all have a “them” – that person, or persons, that causes us to be afraid, to feel intimidated, that raises insecurities in us, and resurrects doubts. Is our “them” really any greater than the “them” which the Israelites faced.
This same promise is repeated in Hebrews 13:5 which says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (NIV). The interesting thing is that in the Greek, it is a triple negative, which we do not have in the English language. So it would read, “No not never will I leave you, no not never will I forsake you.” (New American Commentary). God is emphatic in promising us that He will always remain with us.
Remember: “No. Not. Never.”
Lord, Thank You for promising to always be with us. Today may we rise up and take You at Your Word. Help us to not be afraid of “them“as we go in the strength and courage You give to us. Amen.