Today I finished Deuteronomy and with it the first five books of the Bible. It’s been very interesting to read this fast through the Bible so far. I feel like I’ve gotten a very good picture of this first part of redemptive history.
What struck me today was God’s blatant description of Israel’s future disobedience. In chapter 31 of Deuteronomy God calls Moses to bring Joshua before him so God could commission him. Moses and Joshua present themselves before God but God doesn’t commission him right away. From verse 16 thru verse 22 he gives a description of how Israel would turn away from him.
What?! Joshua is just about to lead them into the Promised Land and God says they will forsake him? What must Joshua be thinking? God doesn’t say when they will forsake him, but they definitely will. How would you feel if you were given a huge assignment and right before taking it on you were told something devastating would happen in the future?
But look at what God says to Joshua in verse 23:
“And the Lord commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.'”
God told Joshua what he needed to hear. Moses had told Joshua these same words twice earlier in chapter 31.
Leaving Deuteronomy and going into Joshua tomorrow, I will focus on Joshua’s character and how this prediction of Israel’s future disobedience affects him.