During my morning quiet time with the Lord, for a few months now, I’ve been camping out in the Old Testament. First I was in Deuteronomy and now I am in Joshua. These two books are full of the confirmation that we have a promise keeping God. I love Deuteronomy 37 where Moses goes “from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, …opposite Jericho.” (Deut. 34:1) and the Lord shows him all the land that He had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In verse 4, the Lord tells Moses that he will not enter this promised land. And in verse 5, Moses died. I wish I could remember the first time I learned that Moses didn’t make it to the promised land. I imagine that I probably felt disappointment for him. I mean, he’s the one that led the people for all. those. years. He’s the one that faced Pharaoh. He’s the one that was chosen to write the 10 Commandments on tablets of stone. To me, Moses is pretty special. So I wonder, was he disappointed that he wouldn’t reap the benefit of his efforts?
Verse 7 actually gives a little clue to how Moses reacted to not making it to the promised land:
Being the word nerd that I am, I wanted to be sure that I understood the meaning of “unabated.” According to dictionary.com, it means:
That led me to being double sure I knew what “vigor” means. Again, according to dictionary.com, vigor is:
So here I am, reading about Moses not reaping the benefits of his proverbial sowing. AND THEN God’s Word tells us that Moses died with power, active strength, force, vitality, intensity. He died knowing that he had received his inheritance. And I personally think he was probably very satisfied.
This has me wondering if I would be? My human, and sinful, nature desires a reward when I’ve worked hard. I’m not one for fanfare but a subtle pat on the back goes along way with me. I venture to say that there’s a little of that feeling in all of us.
Anyway, what does all this have to do with Valentine’s Day? Hang with me – please – I promise I’m getting there.
As I have been studying Joshua, I have marveled (my word of the year) at the keeping of God’s promises. He is ever faithful! He was to His children as the crossed the Red Sea, the dessert, took Jericho, and more. And He is faithful to us today. Once we get to Joshua 22, the land that God promised to Abraham has been divided among the tribes – the promise fulfilled – and the people were settling in. Challenges still arose and that’s not really that surprising considering all the grumbling in the desert.
One of the verses I underlined in chapter 22 is verse 5. Joshua gives these instructions to the Israelite’s as they settle in:
Joshua could’ve just said, “be like Moses.” But he spelled it out. He reminded them of the commandments. He reminded them to walk…and keep…and cling…and serve….with ALL their heart and soul. These qualities – to me are a beautiful explanation of the “unabated vigor” that Moses had.
I often cruise along in my Christian walk. I wax and wane in my Bible reading and prayer time. But this! This is how I want to be.
So as Valentine’s Day comes to a close, I am just plain blessed. God gave me the most wonderful man to be my husband. We’re into our 23rd year of Valentine’s days (22 of those married). And we have 2 beautiful children. The stores are full of cards and flowers and balloons. Facebook and Instagram are full of Valentine wishes and dates and gifts. In our house, every day is full of love that is just plain special. Some years we pull out all the stops for Valentine’s Day. Some years we don’t. This year, we chose to celebrate as a family. And I’m really good with that. But I began Valentine’s Day reading Joshua 22:5. I began my day reminded of the love that I am to have for my Heavenly Father and the promises that He still keeps today for me.
So this isn’t a typical train of thought for Valentine’s Day but it’s what the Lord laid on my heart.
I hope that you had a wonderful day with your special someone. And I pray that every day you love the Lord with “unbated vigor.”
Joy to You!