Practising the Presence of God (Friday 17 March)
Moses, the Lord’s servant, was dead. So the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had been the assistant of Moses. The Lord said:
My servant Moses is dead. Now you must lead Israel across the Jordan River into the land I’m giving to all of you. Wherever you go, I’ll give you that land, as I promised Moses. It will reach from the Southern Desert to the Lebanon Mountains in the north, and to the northeast as far as the great Euphrates River. It will include the land of the Hittites, and the land from here at the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea on the west. Joshua, I will always be with you and help you as I helped Moses, and no one will ever be able to defeat you.
Long ago I promised the ancestors of Israel that I would give this land to their descendants. So be strong and brave! Be careful to do everything my servant Moses taught you. Never stop reading The Book of the Law he gave you. Day and night you must think about what it says. If you obey it completely, you and Israel will be able to take this land.
I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.
As God prepares Joshua to take over from Moses there are promises of his presence and the command to be strong and brave. Alongside these commands, comes the instruction to never stop reading the law of God. Effective leadership called for meditation and study of the Scriptures. One way of practicing the presence of God is to meditate on his words so that we carry them with us throughout each day.
Commit some verses of Scripture to memory today. It may help to write them down, take them with you and look at them often.
‘Our concentration on Jesus will be strengthened by memorization of great passages (not just verses) from Scripture. This practice of memorizing the Scriptures is more important than a daily quiet time, for as we fill our minds with these great passages and have them available for our meditation, “quiet time” takes over the entirety of our lives.’
God blesses those people
who refuse evil advice
and won’t follow sinners
or join in sneering at God.
Instead, the Law of the Lord
makes them happy,
and they think about it
day and night.
They are like trees
growing beside a stream,
trees that produce
fruit in season
and always have leaves.
Those people succeed
in everything they do.