June 23 I Saturday
“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” —Joshua 1:5
The book of Joshua opens with Joshua being commissioned to replace Moses as leader of Israel. Joshua was one of only two men who lived to enter the Promised Land after God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian captivity 40 years earlier. Over these years, Joshua received training under Moses, experienced miraculous victories and suffered disappointment when the people did not originally trust God to grant them victory in Canaan.
As part of Joshua’s commission, God told Joshua that He would be with him like He had been with Moses. This was not a bullet point of doctrine but something Joshua knew from firsthand experience. While the people were camped at Mount Sinai near the beginning of the wilderness journey, they set up a special tent called “the tent of meeting” where the people could enquire of the Lord. Moses regularly met with God there and spoke with Him on behalf of the people, where Scripture tells us, “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11).
Moses experienced intimate friendship with God, not merely as a servant doing his master’s work. In John 15:15, Jesus talks of friendship with His disciples, saying, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.”
The closer we grow to God, the more He will reveal His heart, His purposes and His desires. Exodus 33:11 says of Joshua, “Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young assistant Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.” Joshua had seen Moses meeting with God, perhaps overhearing some of the intimate conversations between them, and he stayed at the tent hoping to develop a similar friendship with God. Like many of us, Joshua did not want to just believe in God and obey Him, but to know Him as a friend.
It is truly remarkable that God is willing to relate to us on this level. He is the Creator and sustainer of the universe, totally self-sufficient and does not require anything, yet He desires the intimacy of friendship with us. God longs to meet with us, conversing and confiding in Him as we would a close friend. He wants us to wrestle with Him through our difficulties, so we come out knowing Him in a deeper way than we did before. He desires an intimate relationship with all of us so that through knowing Him, we can be comforted, sustained and strengthened by His Presence in all things.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I am amazed that You desire friendship with me. I pray for a deep work of Your Spirit so that I may nurture that friendship more every day. Thank You, God.