As we see Moses’ tenure as the leader of Israel coming to an end, we also see the relationship between Moses and Joshua forming into one focused on discipleship and mentoring. In this chapter, he teaches Joshua to discern:
1. What he has experienced.
Deut. 3:21-28 “And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the LORD do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest.”
2. What He is feeling.
“Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you. And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan.”
3. What he must do.
“But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”
LESSON - These are some of the most difficult lessons to learn, but also teach others. The world embraces the concept of a loving God, but they reject the idea that this same God is holy and therefore must thoroughly punish all sin. Even for some Christians, it seems that these character qualities are incompatible until they remember that the punishment of their sins by God was taken by Jesus. Our feelings would deceive us to believe that somehow God is unfair, especially when children are impacted by God’s judgment. At times we may feel afraid and abandoned when we face overwhelming circumstances or when God’s answers are in opposition to our prayers, especially when they seem delayed. It is during these times we must flee to God’s word that our faith may be increased so that we might live in obedience, even if it is in direct opposition to our senses and emotions. Remember that God is at work in and around us fighting for us as well in ways which we cannot see!