This verse tells us of the encouraging promise that God gave to Joshua when he led the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land. This precious promise is no less true for God’s people today who have been rescued from slavery to sin and subjection to Satan, than it was for His people who were in servitude to Pharaoh and slaves in the land of Egypt, and it all comes down to a matter of faith in God’s promises – of trusting His Word – of believing the truth of His Scripture.
Joshua was told: “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” And as we trace the events of Israel from their delivery from bondage, we discover this to be true. His children may let the Lord down or grumble at the circumstances of their lives or try to achieve God’s plan and purpose for their lives in their own strength, but all God’s promises are true and He is faithful to carry out all His pledges to every one of His children, and no-one will be able to stand against us as long as we live. Indeed, the gates of hell will not prevail against us, for God is not only WITH us but residing IN us. He will never leave us and He will not forsake us, even when our faith wears thin or when we fall into sin or turn away from His loving truth.
The battles that Israel faced when they entered the Promised Land were physical battles, fought with spear and swords and shields, but the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they are spiritual weapons which will defeat ALL our spiritual enemies, and they are ALL found in Christ.
An example of one of these ‘spiritual enemies’ is given by the writer of Hebrews. He reiterates this verse from Joshua, not in the context of fighting a physical war but and emotional ‘war within’. He exhorts us to be content with the life we have: “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'”
Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, and the promise he gave to Joshua, he gives to us. For He has promised: No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Abraham and Israel; with Moses and David; with Peter and Paul. I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you, for You are Mine and I love You.
Loving Father, thank You for Your precious promises that are all ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ Jesus my Lord. Thank You that You have promised to be with me though all the seasons and circumstances of my life, and You are faithful to Your promises even when I fail. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.