“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed.
Joshua 23 v 14
When we are younger we feel almost immortal! The muscles and bones don’t ache, brains are active and inventive, we view the future as an ever-opening opportunity – and God is with us! Nothing can hold us back.
Little by little the viewpoint changes. We are like children on a train, the journey is endlessly interesting until we begin to get into the big town when the scenery becomes one of monotonous houses and back gardens. The train begins to slow down, bags are got ready, and the end is in sight.
Recognition of frailty and – yes – terminal decline can come as a nasty shock to a person tied to the earth. That is why so much is spent on trying to keep people alive and avoid the inevitability of death.
As you read through these last two chapters of Joshua you come face to face with a man of huge confidence in God. He was able to look back to the wonder of knowing God’s faithful provision over the years. There is no hint of regrets, no moaning, no blaming, no wondering about ‘ … what if ..’ His only two concerns are to remind people about God’s goodness in the past, and to ensure that the nation remains faithful to God in the future. (More of this second concern tomorrow!)
Joshua had been through hard times in the wilderness, wandering in the desert under Moses’ leadership, tough battles to conquer the land, and the struggle with old age itself. But that spirit of thankfulness, praise and confidence remains with him to the very end. In fact, that was how he had been right through his life and so the prospect of death could not daunt him.
For reflection: Are you cultivating that spirit of confidence in God, praise and thanksgiving right now, so that it will follow you to the end of life?