Wherever You Go, I Will Be With You
It’s one thing to say it but another thing entirely to mean it. I know I’d take it with a grain of salt if someone told me, “[I] will be with you wherever you go. I wouldn’t be skeptical of their intentions, just their ability. So why would God even say it? More importantly, why would Joshua believe it? The whole thing seems impossible. I’d want assurances, some proof.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
God didn’t have to convince Joshua that his promise was real. He had already proven it with his actions. Joshua was a child when God took Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. Consequently, he had witnessed God do great and powerful things. He had also watched God be faithful to Moses. By the time Moses sent Joshua to spy on the Promised Land, he already had a strong faith. Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who had faith in the greatness of God over the giant people of that land. When God was angry that so many had so little faith and had the Israelites wander the desert for 40 years, Joshua experienced God’s faithfulness again. When God finally made this admonition to Joshua, He had already proven that He could be trusted.
It’s summertime, and that means trips to the pool. Or at least it did when I was a kid. Mom was not an excellent swimmer. She hadn’t learned to swim until she was 27 years old. Swimming was traumatizing. Thrown into the pool as a little girl and nearly drowning, she was insecure in the water. Even after she had taught both my brother and me to swim, she was cautious and nervous – but I didn’t learn that until later. One of the things that always scared my mom was that I would jump in without warning. Her back could be turned. She could have just popped up to the surface of the water. It didn’t matter to me; I would just jump.
I jumped because I knew she would catch me.
I was a relatively big kid. My mom was 4’10” (148cm) ~ tiny. I can see now why taking a flying leap off the side of the pool onto a tiny woman weighted just a touch over 100lbs(45.5 Kilos) with all her clothes on and soaking wet probably made her uncomfortable. But, my faith wasn’t in her size. My faith was in her. Mom had already spent years proving to me over and over again that she would catch me. I think about all the times God caught me too. And I know why Joshua had the faith to take his people to the promised Land. He didn’t need to trust God blindly. He had receipts.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.