If you’re following this blog, you may have noticed that I skipped a couple days over the weekend. I’m okay with that and I hope you are too. 🙂 Instead of writing, I spent some time perusing the sites I mentioned previously, the ones that caused me some momentary angst, remember? It turns out that many people disbelieve the claim (rumor) that there are 365 (or 366) Bible verses saying some variation of “Fear not” or “Do not fear.” I found several long lists of verses, but none that came close to the one-for-each-day number.
Instead of being upset about this new-found info, I became relieved. The pressure lifted – it’s not about the numbers anyway. What I’ve rediscovered over the past couple of weeks is that God’s Word is alive, always relevant, and life-changing. Any time spent reading and meditating on it bears fruit. Tending this garden of Scripture study has been a joy, a challenge, a prayerful time of listening and learning. When (if) I come to the end of the verses that contain the word fear, God will guide me and give me more of His words to reflect on. And if (when) I miss a day or two, that’s okay too. I’m so glad I went back and checked those other sites!
Now back to Deuteronomy. It’s a bittersweet time for Moses. He’s 120 years old and no longer able to lead the Israelites. God has given the task of leading the Israelites into the promised land to Joshua, so Moses will not be crossing the Jordan River with them. Can you imagine? After all this time and after all he’s done for them, the people will be going on without him. But included in his final words are these memory-worthy lines: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” The Amplified Bible adds the word “firm” after courageous. No matter what you or I may go through, we must hold firmly to these words. For the Israelites, “them” referred to the nations inhabiting their promised land, the giants they feared the first time they approached Canaan, or least the giants their forefathers were afraid of.
Today we might replace “them” with cancer, death, divorce, financial problems, an uncertain future – you fill in the blank with your personal brand of fear. It’s not easy to be strong and courageous in difficulty, but the last part of this verse guarantees that we won’t be alone. This is His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Enough said.