April 19: He’s Dead, But You Can Be Alive
Joshua 1:1–3:17; 2 Corinthians 9:1–5; Psalm 47:1–9
“My servant Moses is dead” (Josh 1:2).
Imagine the shock of this moment for Joshua, Moses’ right-hand man. He probably already knew about Moses’ death before God told him (Deut 34:1–8), but it’s in this moment that he really feels the tragedy.
If you’ve experienced death, you know this feeling—the moment when someone looks you in the eyes and says, “They’re gone.” You can’t prepare for it. It’s death; there’s nothing you can do to change it or handle it.
This was also the moment when Joshua was confronted with the great leadership burden that he would now carry as a result of Moses’ passing—equivalent to the emotional burden a vice president carries as he’s being sworn into office after the president has died.
Yahweh tells Joshua, “Get up and cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the children of Israel. Every place that the soles of your feet will tread, I have given it to you, as I promised to Moses” (Josh 1:2–3). There isn’t a moment to spare; it’s time to move. So Joshua leads. Of all the incredible moments in his life—the battles he won and bravery he showed in the face of danger—this moment is probably the most impressive because he simply does it (Josh 2:1).
And Joshua does so in the face of the great fear of foreign warriors: “From the wilderness and the Lebanon, up to the great river, the river Euphrates, all of the land of the Hittites, and up to the great sea in the west, will be your territory” (Josh 1:4). He will face these warriors while still overcoming grief.
We all experience moments like these that will shape who we become. We’ll experience grief, pain, and difficult decisions. We may be called to lead people. What we do in these moments is what defines us; it determines what kind of Christ followers we will be.
Joshua experienced the great comfort of God’s Spirit and guidance, and Christians have the opportunity to do the same (Deut 34:9–12; John 17). That’s something that no one can take away from us and no circumstance can overcome.
How are you handling grief or pain in your life? What important moments and decisions are in front of you? How can you incorporate the Spirit into everything you do at this moment?
JOHN D. BARRY
- Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead: now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I give them, that is, to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, have I given you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Perath: all the land of the Hittites, even unto the great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not a man be able to withstand thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee: I will not leave thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong an dof a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide the land for an inheritance, which I swore unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong, and of a most valiant courage, that thou mayest observe and do according to all the Law which Moses my servant hath commanded thee: thou shalt not turn away from it to the right hand, nor to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Let not this book of the Law depart out of thy mouth, but meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe and do according to all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success. Have not I commanded thee, saying, Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be discouraged? for I the Lord thy God will be with thee whithersoever thou goest. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare your victuals: for after three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord thy God giveth you to possess it. And unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh spake Joshua, saying, Remember the word, which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, adn hath given you this land. Your wives, your children, and your cattle shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan: but ye shall go over before your brethren armed, all that be men of war, and shall help them, Until the Lord have given your brethren rest as well as to you, and until they also shall possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth them: then shall ye return unto the land of your possession, and shall possess it, which land Moses the Lord’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sun rising. Then they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou hast commanded us, we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. As we obeyed Moses in all things, so will we obey thee: only the Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever shall rebel against thy commandment, and will not obey thy word in all that thou commandest him, let him be put to death: only be strong and of good courage. Then Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, and also Jericho, and they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. Then report was made to the King of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men hither tonight, of the children of Israel, to spy out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, and which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the land. (But the woman had taken the two men, and hid them.) Therefore said she thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were. And when they shut the gate in the dark, the men went out, whither the men went, I wot not: follow ye after them quickly, for ye shall overtake them. (But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had spread abroad upon the roof.) And certain men persued after them, the way to Jordan, unto the fools, and as soon as they which pursued after them, were gone out, they shut the gate. And before they were asleep, she came up unto them upon the roof, And said unto men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that the fear of you is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the red Sea before you when ye came out of Egypt, and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, unto Sihon and to Og, whom ye utterly destroyed: And when we heard it, our hearts did faint, and there remained no more courage in any because of you: for the Lord your God, he is the God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, that as I have showed you mercy, ye will also show mercy unto my father’s house, and give me a true token, And that ye will save alive my father and my mother, and my brethren, and my sister, and all that they have: and that ye will deliver our souls from death. And the men answered her, Our life for you to die, if ye utter not this our business: and when the Lord hath given us the land, we will deal mercifully and truly with thee. Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. And she said unto them, Go you into the mountain, lest the pursuers meet with you, and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: then afterward may ye go your way. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this cord of red thread in the window, whereby thou lettest us down, and thou shalt bring thy father and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household home to thee. And whosoever then doth go out at the doors of thine house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: but whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand touch him: And if thou utter this our matter, we will be quit of thine oath, which thou hast made us swear. And she answered, According unto your words so be it: then she sent them away, and they departed, and she bound the red cord in the window. And they departed, and came into the mountain, and there abode three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not. So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that came unto them. Also they said unto Joshua, Surely the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land: for even all the inhabitants of the country faint because of us. Then Joshua rose very early, and the removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he, and allthe children of Israel, and lodged there before they went over. And after three days, the officers went throughout the host, And commanded the people, saying, When ye see the Ark of the covenant of the Lord your God and the Priests of the Levites bearing it, ye shall depart from your place, and go after it. Yet shall there be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measures: ye shall not come near unto it, that ye may know the way, by the which ye shall go: for ye have not gone this way in times past. (Now Joshua had said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.) Also Joshua spoke unto the Priests, saying, Take up the Ark of the covenant, and go over before the people: so they took up the Ark of the covenant, and went before the people. Then the Lord said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, which shall know, that as I was with Moses, so will I be with thee. Thou shalt therefore command the Priests that bear the Ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the waters of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. Then Josahua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will certainly cast out before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the Ark of the covenant of the Lord of allthe world passeth before you into Jordan. Now therefore take from among you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And as soon as the soles of the feet of the Preists (that bear the Ark of the Lord God the Lord of all the world) shall stay in the waters of Jordan, the waters of Jodan shall be cut off: for the waters that come from above, shall stand still upon an heap. Then when the people were departed from their tents to go over Jordan, the Priests bearing the Ark of the covenant, went before the people. And as they that bare the Ark, came unto Jordan, and the feet of the Priests that bare the Ark were dipped in the brink of the water, (for Jordan useth to fill all his banks all the time of harvest) Then the waters that came down from above, stayed and rose upon an heap, and departed far from the city of Adam that was beside Zaretan: but the waters that came down toward the Sea of the wilderness, even the salt Sea, failed and were cut off: so the people went right over against Jericho. But the Priests that bare the Ark of the covenant of the Lord, stood dry within Jordan ready prepared, and all the Israelites went over dry, until all the people were clean gone over through Jordan. Joshua 1:1–3:17
- For as touching the ministering to the Saints, it is superfluous for me to write unto you. For I know your readiness of mind, whereof I boast myself of you unto them of Macedonia, and say, that Achaia was prepared a year ago, and your zeal hath provoked many. Now have I sent the brethen, lest our rejoicing over you should be in vain in this behalf, that ye (as I have said) be ready. Lest if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we may not say, you) should be ashamed in this my constant boasting. Wherefore, I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to come before unto you, and to finish your benevolence appointed afore, that it might be ready, and come as of benevolence, and not as of niggardliness. 2 Corinthians 9:1–5
- All people clap your hands; sing loud unto God with a joyful voice. For the Lord is high, and terrible; a great King over all the earth. He hath subdued the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He hath chosen our inheritance for us: even the glory of Jacob whom he loved. Selah. God is gone up with triumph, even the Lord with the sound of the trumpt. Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the king of all the earth: sing praises everyone that hath understanding. God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon his holy Thone. The princes of the people are gathered unto the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the world belong to God: he is greatly to be exalted. Psalm 47:1–9