God made a promise to Joshua as he prepared to move forward in obedience and conquer the Promised Land that I would very much like to claim as my own.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5
I know it is important not to run around claiming all the promises that God made to other people throughout his Word. He promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations. He promised David he would be king. He promised Mary that her divinely conceived baby would be the Savior of the world. Those are clearly not promises that I can claim for myself. But this one that God made to Joshua – I’m claiming that one!
Although this promise was made to Joshua, it also echoes a clear principle of who God is and how he acts that is repeated throughout Scripture. The Psalms proclaim the fact that the faithful ones of the Lord will be protected forever. (Psalms 37:28) The prophet Nahum reminds us that the Lord is a stronghold in the day of trouble for those who trust in him. (Nahum 1:7) Jesus proclaimed that those who followed him were eternally safe in the Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29) and when he sent his disciples out on the Great Commission, he promised that he would always be there “even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Paul proclaims that even in our struggles we are never abandoned by God. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9) And the promise made to Joshua centuries earlier as he readied for battle is held up as a reminder to the New Testament believers of God’s still promised presence. (Hebrews 13:5)
The promise of God’s presence is one that all of his children can hold on to. I know that God will never leave me nor forsake me because I am his child, redeemed by the blood of Jesus!