The Whole Point of Everything

Day 19

The Whole Point of Everything

‘After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites.  I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates – all the Hittite country – to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.’ Joshua 1:1-6

We need not tell anyone to be strong, unless they’re feeling weak. We need not tell someone to be courageous unless they’re feeling scared. 

Joshua had just lost Moses, his mentor, leader and friend. And the promise of a fight for a land promised loomed large before him. He needed strength. His human strength was not enough and he knew it. 

Strength comes in more than encouraging words. It comes in the presence of the Strengthener whispering ‘I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.’

Be courageous, because I am with you. 


There is no mention of Joshua’s credentials, his years of being mentored under Moses, his experience in battle, his educational qualifications. And no one is saying ‘you’ve got this’ ‘you’re the man for the job’ ‘you’re ready’. 

God is simply saying ‘I am with you’ and Israel is also saying to him ‘May God be with you’.

And that’s it. The one thing necessary. The essential ingredient.

The one essential thing God gives… Himself. 

God with us. Always.

The presence of God with us: it was the reality in the first garden (Genesis 2:15-20, 3:8), the promise to the people of promise (Genesis 26:3), the experience of Joseph (Genesis 39:2,23) and the key to Moses calling (Exodus 3:12) and Israel’s future (Deuteronomy 31:6). And now the promise to Joshua and all Israel. 

And the promise to us, both now and forever more (Matthew 28:20, Revelation 21:3).

I, YHWH, am with you. That’s the plan. That’s the strategy. That’s why we can be strong and courageous. No other reason. No strength we have, no valour we possess, no human skill, smarts or preparation. Just this one thing. 

God is with us. 


And these aren’t just words. They are words that name a reality. It is the objective reality that God is actively at work in our lives and circumstances ensuring the outcome is woven for our good and His purposes. Us with Him and He with us.

This is the long story of grace. The story of God’s presence with us. The story to live in and live out. The story to keep alive in us.

‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.’ Joshua 1:7-8

Keep this story on your lips, speak it out into the air and then walk into the reality it forms. Speak it out loud into the air, feel the words on your tongue, fill the syllables with your breath. Recite it, re-live it, out loud into the world, hear the words in your ears echoing messages to your mind. Let your whole body feel the vibrations of every word. Then walk into it and make yourself at home in this story. Live in it and let it live in you, so that what is spoken undoes the broken and strengthens the weary, wavering soul. This story whispering ‘I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.’. 

‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9

This is the whole story of scripture from the beginning to the end, the story of God’s presence with us. And this God, He has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep this story alive in us.

‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).

(Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23)

The giving of Himself for us. So that He can say forever…

‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ 

Matthew 28:20

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling-place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.’ 

Revelation 21:3

It’s the whole point of everything.

God with us.


Journey Further

‘Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

Matthew 28:20

How would your life be different if you lived in the reality of these words?


References, Notes and Credits

Goldinggay, John,  ‘Joshua, Judges and Ruth for everyone’, SPCK Publishing, 2011

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